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What Is AFUE?

We know you don’t really want to think about heating season yet, but it is just around the corner. If you need to replace your existing furnace or boiler or have a new home that needs a heating system and you are opting to go with a furnace or boiler, you’ll want to know what AFUE is. The heating experts at DuAll Heating & Cooling can help you determine how AFUE will affect your decision in choosing a new heater, but it’s important to understand the basics.

The Acronym

AFUE is an acronym that stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. Just as the miles per gallon (mpg) on a car will tell you how efficiently a certain gas will use gasoline, AFUE tells you the same thing about your furnace or boiler. There are minimum AFUE ratings in place that all combustion heating systems must achieve, and that rating is 78% on a scale of 100%. Today’s furnaces and boilers are the most efficient yet, with many rating as high as 98% – but first you need to understand what this is telling you.

When combustion systems generate heat, the also generate toxic combustion byproducts such as soot, ash and toxic gases (think carbon monoxide). These byproducts are vented directly to the outdoors via your flue. While these byproducts are toxic, they also contain energy, and this is part of what an AFUE rating will tell you. Let’s say you are looking at a boiler with an AFUE of 90%. This means that 90% of your fuel is being used effectively because 90% of the fuel is used to heat your home. The other 10% is the fuel you lose to combustion byproducts.

The reason AFUE is important is it allows you to determine just how energy efficient a heater you should use. The more energy efficient a heater is, the more it costs at initial installation. You want to balance these costs with long-term energy savings.

The heating pros at DuAll Heating & Cooling can help you find the best heating system for your home in Bolingbrook – just give us a call and schedule an appointment!

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