Understanding AFUE Ratings and Your Furnace

By Four Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric - February 12, 2016
Bulbs afue ratings

Did you know that 29% of your home’s yearly energy use goes toward your heating system? Since your furnace is the number one natural gas guzzler in your home, it should also be the first unit you target for energy efficiency improvements.

The U.S Department of Energy created an energy standard for furnaces called the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio. The AFUE is the ratio of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed. The higher your furnace’s rating, the lower your fuel costs will be.

How to Increase Your Furnace’s AFUE Rating

The easiest way to improve your furnace’s energy efficiency is to get your yearly furnace tune-up. Tune-ups have a variety of different benefits for your heating system, including improvements in energy efficiency.

As furnaces age, they slowly lose functionality and efficiency, especially if they’re not maintained well. A furnace that has a 90% AFUE rating at the start of its life (which means it converts 90% of its fuel into usable heat) could have a lower rating after ten or fifteen years.

By getting a yearly tune-up and scheduling repairs for any issues you notice throughout its use, you can extend the lifespan of your unit and keep its AFUE rating from dropping. The minor cost of a furnace tune-up can save homeowners quite a lot of money in the long run.

Afue ratings

Even without the consideration of an AFUE rating, we never recommend neglecting your yearly furnace tune-up. Furnaces that aren’t regularly maintained experience more breakdowns and are less efficient than systems that are cleaned each year.

If you haven’t gotten your yearly Furnace Tune-up yet, give Four Seasons a call. We’ll be sure to prepare your furnace for Chicagoland’s frigid winter weather.

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