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AFUE and Selecting a Furnace for Installation

There are a few choices to make when it comes to selecting a furnace:

  • Type of furnace – combustion or electric
  • Type of fuel – oil, gas, propane or electricity

And: efficiency level.

The best way to assess how efficient a particular furnace will be is to review its AFUE rating. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, and it measures a gas furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy. As an example, a furnace with an AFUE of 90% means that that particular furnace will generate 90 BTUs of heat for every unit of fuel that it burns. In other words, when this particular furnace operates, 10% of your fuel is lost to exhaust. Comparatively speaking, this is a pretty good AFUE rating. AFUE can range from the low 50s to the high 90s, so this is why it’s important to understand how AFUE works.

What AFUE Doesn’t Mean

Sometimes energy efficiency ratings like AFUE can be misinterpreted as being an indication that a certain type of furnace with a certain AFUE rating will heat your home better; this isn’t true. What AFUE tells you is that a furnace with an AFUE of 95% will heat your home the same as a furnace with an AFUE of 90% – the difference is that the furnace with the higher AFUE rating will heat your home for less money because it uses less fuel to accomplish the job.

So why not just purchase the furnace with the higher AFUE? With improved energy efficiency can come higher purchase cost: typically, the higher a furnace’s energy efficiency, the higher the cost of the unit. Working with a trained expert can help you determine how long it will take to recover the installation costs of a unit, based on its energy efficiency level. He/she does this by calculating how much you can save in energy costs based on the AFUE rating and comparing that to your installation costs. Taking the time to work on this calculation with your technician can help you save money in energy costs for the long-term.

If you need a new furnace installation in Roswell, don’t go it alone: call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts!

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