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What is a considered a good AFUE rating?

Posted: December 2, 2019

home efficiencyAFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency – is a convenient measure for comparing the performance of one furnace to another; much like MPG for your car: the higher the AFUE number, the more efficient the equipment is (you can usually find the AFUE rating of your furnace on its faceplate; in some older models, the AFUE number may be absent).

What the AFUE number actually represents is an average of the amount of propane, heating oil, or other fuel that is consumed by your furnace compared to the amount of heat it produces over the course of a heating season.

For example, in an 80 AFUE furnace, an average of 80 percent of the fuel used by the unit is actually converted to heat; the remaining 20 percent is lost along the way (usually up the chimney). One way to think about AFUE is to consider it in terms of dollars: For every dollar you spend on fuel for an 80 AFUE furnace, 80 cents go toward heating your home’s air; In a 95 AFUE furnace, that number jumps up to 95 cents – which will make a big difference on your monthly bills.

Common AFUE ratings for furnaces
The AFUE rating of a furnace can vary considerably from unit to unit, depending on how old your equipment is and how well it has been maintained. Here are some typical furnace efficiency ratings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy:

  • Low-efficiency (older systems): 56-70 percent AFUE
  • Mid-efficiency (older or newer systems): 80-85 percent AFUE
  • High-efficiency (mostly newer systems): 90-98.5 percent AFUE

As of 2015, the minimum standard AFUE for new furnaces Is 80 percent.

AFUE isn’t everything!
Of course, AFUE is just one factor in the efficiency of your home heating system – others include how airtight your home is, how well you maintain your equipment, the condition of your ducts, and how well your heating equipment was installed. Each of these will contribute to getting more or less heating bang for your buck.

For these reasons and more, it pays to always hire a professional to install, maintain, and repair your furnace.

Looking for an energy-efficient replacement for your furnace? We can help! Contact Black Bear today for a FREE, no-obligation estimate on a furnace that is sized for your home, budget, and lifestyle.