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What is the AFUE Rating of a Furnace and What Does it Mean for Energy Savings?

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If you’re in the market for a new furnace this winter in St. Louis, or you simply want to know more about the efficiency of your current unit, you’re sure to come across the term AFUE rating at some point or another.

It’s important to understand what an AFUE rating is because it will impact both how much a new furnace will cost and how much money it will save you down the line.

What is an AFUE Rating?

An AFUE rating is a percentage that measures the energy efficiency of a furnace or boiler. The number comes from how much heat a furnace is able to produce in relation to how much energy it consumes.

For example, if a furnace has an 85% AFUE rating that means it converts 85 percent of the energy from its fuel into heat. The other 15 percent is lost.

If you’re looking at new furnaces, the AFUE rating will be displayed on each unit, as it is required to do so by the FTC.

The lowest AFUE rating that is allowed for new furnaces is 78 percent. However, some homes with older units could have furnaces with an AFUE rating as low as 55 percent.

How much money can you save on a furnace with a higher AFUE rating?

The great thing about furnaces with high AFUE ratings is that they can significantly cut down your energy bills. In fact, the Department of Energy estimates that you can cut down your energy bills by as much as half if you go from a furnace with a low AFUE rating to one with a high one.

However, the higher the AFUE rating, the more expensive the furnace will cost up front. It’s best to decide how much money you’re initially willing to spend on a new unit and calculate when the investment will start paying itself off in future energy savings.

If you have any questions about AFUE ratings, or you’d like to install or retrofit a furnace, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

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