If you ever glance at the yellow Energy Guide sticker on your furnace, you’ll notice a multitude of numbers. However, if there is one figure worth paying attention to, it’s the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE. So what is AFUE, and what does it tell you about your furnace?
A furnace is what the HVAC system uses to heat your home. All furnaces work by generating heat and then circulating that throughout the house. However, at Carolina Air Conditioning Co. we service homes with all types of furnace systems in the Raleigh area. Any heating system needs fuel, and this is typically where furnaces differ. Gas operated systems burn either natural gas or propane to create heat air, then force it through ductwork to warm the house. Boilers heat water which then moves through radiant pipework, and there are also pure electric furnaces that use no supplemental fuel to produce heat. For any heating system, the objective is to operate with efficiency, providing comfort while minimizing the waste of energy. Reliable, efficient heat is crucial when winter temperatures sweep through the Raleigh area.
AFUE essentially refers to how much fuel actually gets converted into heat that is used to warm a home. For instance, an electric furnace could potentially have an AFUE rating of 100. That indicates that 100 percent of the fuel is successfully processed into heat energy, which is fully efficient. This would seem to suggest that electric furnaces are superior to all other systems, but high electricity costs keep them from being viable options for many Raleigh homeowners. Gas-operated furnaces come in high efficiency and standard models. A gas fueled furnace with an AFUE of around 80 or lower is said to be standard, while a 90 rating or greater is high efficiency. Although HE systems are more expensive, wasting less than 10 percent of your fuel means significantly lower utility bills, which makes them a wise long-term investment.
For reliable quotes on high efficiency furnaces in the Raleigh area, call Carolina Air Conditioning today!