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Heater Replacement 101: What Is AFUE?

As you search for the perfect heater for your home, what are the most important factors to consider? Both heater size and efficiency will be the biggest influences on how your heater performs for the years to come. If you’re wondering how to measure heater efficiency in the first place, you’ve come to the right place.

Express Air Conditioning and Heating is your reliable Pensacola heater replacement team. Our expertise stretches beyond the installation itself, ensuring that you invest in the efficient furnace you need. How is efficiency measured, and how efficient does your heater need to be? Keep reading to find out!

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)

This long term is simply a rating given to every single furnace on the market to tell you how efficiently it runs. All furnaces use some kind of fuel to power the heating process. The most common fuel sources are electricity or natural gas. Natural gas has to be burned to create heat — that’s why the furnace has a combustion chamber. During this process, not all of the gas is transformed straight into heat. Some of it is lost as smoke and other byproducts of burning the gas.

How much fuel is burned, and how much heat is produced by that process? That’s how efficiency is determined.

What’s The Most Efficient Furnace?

You might be interested in a high-efficiency furnace, but let’s talk about the ranges of efficiency a little more first. To ensure that our furnaces are environmentally safe and as efficient as possible, the industry-standard AFUE for residential homes was set at 78% in 1987. Since then, the standard has been raised to 80% in the United States.

This means that you can’t physically find a furnace on the market that wastes more than 20% of its energy during combustion. Using 80% as a starting point, any furnace that performs with 80 – 88% efficiency is considered mid-level efficiency. Those units that can run at 90 – 98% are considered high-efficiency systems.

Technically, 100% efficiency is the maximum efficiency a unit can get to, but it’s nearly impossible. Even electric furnaces that lose far less energy due to the absence of combustion face differing opinions about being 100% efficient.

How To Choose An Efficiency Rating

As mentioned in the helpful resource about calculating your heater size, efficiency works hand in hand with size to ensure your home gets the warmth it needs. If you’re struggling to find the right-sized heater, you may consider investing in a higher efficiency unit to allow the system to produce enough what for your home. The best option for juggling these variables is getting expert help. Technicians evaluate these factors every single day, so they have the unique insights and expertise to help you weigh your options.

Express Air Can Help

If your heater replacement is stalled while you try to decide on an efficiency rating, Express Air Conditioning and Heating can help you find a solution. Your heater installation doesn’t have to be stressful with the experience and advice of our team. Contact us today for help with your heater installation!

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