What AFUE Means for Your Heating System
AFUE, which stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is a measurement used to determine the efficiency of combustion appliances like water heaters, boilers, and furnaces. You should pay attention to AFUE ratings, which tell how much fuel the furnace will use to heat the home.
What Is AFUE?
The rating is derived via a simple formula: dividing the energy required to run the furnace (in BTUs or British Thermal Units) with the heating energy the system releases (also in BTUs). This registers as a percentage: the higher the percentage, the more of the heater’s consumed energy gets released as heat into the home (the rest being lost to exhaust and inefficiency). So a furnace with an AFUE rating of 80% would lose 20% of its consumed energy to waste, while a furnace with an AFUE rating of 90% loses only 10% of its consumed energy to waste.
Lennox offers residential furnaces with AFUE ratings ranging from the federal minimum of 80% all the way up to an industry-leading 98.7%. The most efficient models can save you hundreds of dollars a year, compared to an older or less-efficient furnace.
How to Increase the Performance of Your Gas Furnace
If you made a pie chart showing your home energy costs, the biggest piece of the pie would read “heating and cooling. And those energy bills can climb even higher if you’re using an inefficient heating system. Here are a few ways you can increase the performance of your gas furnace this winter.
Change the filters
Changing the filter on a regular basis – aim for once a month – this will improve the air quality in your home and make your system perform with greater efficiency.
Pay attention to your thermostat
Making the temperature in your home just a few degrees cooler during the winter months can make a significant impact on your energy consumption.
Install a programmable thermostat
If you have an older thermostat powering your heating system, you’re at the mercy of outdated technology. Invest in a programmable thermostat, which will allow you to keep temperatures down at times when the furnace doesn’t need to be firing, like when you’re asleep or at work.
Seal and insulate your ductwork
How much valuable air are you losing to leaks? Up to 20 percent, according to ENERGY STAR. But you can prevent leaks and keep that air in by sealing the seams and holes in your ductwork. Installing insulation inside your ducts can make your home more comfortable while also reducing your energy costs. You can find duct insulation in tubes, blankets and wrap-on rolls.
Have your furnace checked before winter
Yearly maintenance checks from GSHA Services, LTD can have many benefits for your heating system, including improvements in energy efficiency. As the years go by, if your unit is not maintained properly your system loses its funciontality and its ability to be efficient.
What Is ENERGY STAR and Why it Should Matter to You?
ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. When your home’s heating and cooling can account for up to 42% of your energy bill, purchasing ENERGY STAR® certified products to use less energy may help you keep more of your hard-earned dollars.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires all ENERGY STAR® products to be third-party certified. Products are tested in an EPA-recognized laboratory and reviewed by an EPA-recognized certification body prior to being ENERGY STAR® certified. ENERGY STAR® heating and cooling products must be proven to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality.
Use Efficiency Ratings to Make Proactive Choices
If you’re considering a new furnace, keep efficiency ratings in mind. By examining AFUE ratings, you can easily see which units will help you to save more and enhance comfort. To keep your utility bills low, stay on top of regular furnace maintenance. Routine preventive maintenance will preserve efficiency and allow your furnace to serve your family for years to come.
At GSHA Services, we have more than 20 years of experience servicing furnaces in the Chicago, Illinois, area. Call us at 224-220-3660 to find out how we can help you to select the right furnace for your home.