Remember these four letters—AFUE—to start saving energy
Baffled by all the numbers and claims when it comes to furnace efficiency ratings? Climate Control wants you to remember these four letters: AFUE. They stand for the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating, which is one of the easiest tools to use when deciding on a new heating system.
AFUE clearly outlines how efficiently the HVAC system will perform. A higher rated system will result in lower costs over the life of the system. As with any furnace, it will only achieve its greatest efficiency if your home is well insulated and weatherized against our Colorado winters. Learn what you need to know about AFUE ratings when choosing a furnace.
As opposed to a unit’s true thermal efficiency operating at its peak, or steady state, AFUE rates the efficiency of a system over a season, which gives businesses and homeowners a good idea of the general operating costs. Basically, AFUE will tell you how much of the fuel consumed goes toward generating usable heat. So, a heating system that rates 80 percent AFUE will use 80 percent of the fuel consumed to generate heat, while the other 20 percent is lost. AFUE ratings, however, don’t account for any heat that might be lost while circulating in your ductwork. AFUE is also used to measure the efficiency of many other fuel burning appliances. Look for it when comparing the performance of water heaters and boilers.
In general, choosing higher AFUE-rated equipment means lower operating costs and lifetime costs for property owners. That’s because high-efficiency HVAC systems generally utilize special features that run at lower speeds with greater mechanical efficiency, thereby consuming less fuel and extending service life. In addition, reducing your heating load can greatly lower operating costs. It would benefit you greatly to also take energy-saving actions such as upgrading insulation, sealing air leaks and upgrading your thermostat to lower the load before installing new equipment.
For more expert advice, contact Climate Control today. We’re happy to help our neighbors in Western Colorado learn about AFUE and what it takes to install a new, high-efficiency system properly to get the most out of your equipment. Please give us call to schedule a free consultation.
Our goal is to help educate building owners in Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado about energy and HVAC comfort issues.