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Efficiency Ratings for Furnaces and Boilers

What are they?

home efficiency new yorkEfficiency is an important criterion when it comes to boilers and furnaces. In fact, it’s the primary statistic you should consider when comparing units. Whenever it’s time for you to purchase a new boiler or furnace for your New York home, you should buy the most efficient model you can afford.

If your boiler or furnace is getting on in years, even if it isn’t costing you a lot in maintenance and repairs right now, you should consider how efficient it is before you rule out replacing it sooner than later. It’s quite likely that an upgrade would significantly lower your energy bills and your carbon footprint at the same time.

An intro to AFUE ratings

How do you determine the efficiency of your boiler or furnace? That’s easy! Find its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. Much like your car’s MPG (miles per gallon) rating indicates how efficiently it uses fuel and a higher number means better fuel economy, the AFUE for a boiler or furnace represents the amount of fuel (e.g., heating oil or propane) a heating system uses compared to how much heat it produces. A boiler or furnace’s AFUE is proportional to its efficiency. The higher a unit’s AFUE, the more energy-efficient it is.

For example, if a furnace or boiler has an AFUE rating of 96, then 96% of the fuel it consumes is heating your home and only 4% is getting lost during the conversion process. Said differently, for every dollar you spend on fuel for a boiler or furnace with a 96 AFUE rating, 96 cents go directly into heating your home, and 4 cents is lost up the chimney or another way. In addition to indicating efficiency, a boiler or furnace’s AFUE rating is a measure of the value you’re getting. The higher the AFUE rating, the more heat you’re getting for each dollar you spend on fuel.

It’s not just a number

The US Department of Energy suggests buying the highest-efficiency unit you can afford, especially if you live in a place like New York that experiences the harsh extremes of winter.

An important note: A higher AFUE isn’t just good for your budget because it saves you money, it’s also good for the environment because it means your boiler or furnace is producing fewer emissions.

You should be able to find the AFUE rating for your boiler or furnace on its faceplate. Then check the ranges below to see how it compares.

  • 56 – 70 AFUE: low efficiency
  • 80 – 85 AFUE: medium efficiency
  • 90 – 98.5 AFUE: high-efficiency

If your boiler or furnace isn’t highly efficient, the friendly staff at Black Bear can help you find the perfect unit for your home and budget. We feature a full range of high-efficiency heating equipment that we expertly install.

Once your new unit is installed, you’ll save money on your energy bills immediately. In fact, with new, high-efficiency home heating equipment from Black Bear, you could save up to 40% on your annual energy bills! Your new system will cost less to maintain with regular tune-ups than an older model, so you’ll also save on maintenance and repair costs.

Black Bear provides the best heating, AC, and plumbing services in northern Orange County, Sullivan County, and eastern Ulster County. We’re big enough to handle any job, but small enough to care about you. To see if your New York neighborhood is in our service area, enter your ZIP Code here.

Contact us today for a free estimate and to find out how affordable a new, high-efficiency heating system from Black Bear can be!