When shopping for a new furnace, one of the most important factors is energy usage. Not only does more energy cost more money, it also adds to your carbon footprint. How do you ensure a system that provides maximum comfort for the least amount of energy? Look at the AFUE.
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (or AFUE) rating measures how much heat your furnace produces for the amount of energy it uses. To determine the rating, manufacturers divide the number of BTUs of heat the unit gives off in a year by the number of BTUs of energy it uses. Multiplying that number by 100 yields a percentage, which is the AFUE rating. If your furnace has a rating of 90, that means 90% of the energy it uses is given off as heat, and the remaining 10% is vented as exhaust.
The minimum allowable AFUE rating for gas furnaces in the United States is 80%, but the higher the number, the more efficient the furnace is. If you’re shopping for a new furnace, you should look for one rated at least 90 to 93 to ensure optimal savings. The most efficient furnaces are rated up to 98.5%.
There are a few features you can look for on your new furnace that improve energy efficiency. A multispeed air handler adjusts the amount of air that blows through your home based on the ambient temperature. Rather than always running full blast, on milder days, it delivers less air and less heat, saving energy.
You can also get a modulating furnace, which applies the same principle to the fuel used. It adjusts the flow of natural gas so you only use as much as you need based on the current temperature.
It’s also important to note that your furnace efficiency degrades over time unless it’s properly maintained. By remembering to schedule your annual tuneup, you can keep the system running smoothly for years to come.
To find the most efficient furnace for your home, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing. We’re Indianapolis’ trusted source for quality HVAC solutions.