Understand Your Furnace’s AFUE Rating to Get Big Winter Savings

Savings in the BankAs winter comes and the temperatures plunge you turn the heat up in your Framingham-area home. You may cringe just thinking about how much it’s going to cost you to run your furnace.

But did you know that you can minimize how much money flies out of your pocket each year by upgrading to a newer, more energy efficient furnace?

To determine how energy efficient a furnace is, you need to understand the furnace’s AFUE rating.

What is the AFUE rating?

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Basically, it measures in a percentage how efficiently your furnace uses fuel to heat your home.

For example: If you have a furnace with an AFUE rating of 70%, then your furnace is converting 70% of the fuel you’re feeding it into heat for your home.

“Wait a second,” you might object, “what happened to that other 30%?”

The other 30% is lost (wasted) in the combustion process your furnace uses to create heat.

How to turn the AFUE rating into a dollar amount

Now, you didn’t come here to look at percentages. You came here to save cold hard cash.

To convert an AFUE to a dollar amount, think of it like this: if you have a furnace with an AFUE rating of 70% then for every dollar you feed your furnace in fuel, only $0.70 of that dollar actually went to heating your home. The other $0.30 was lost in the fuel combustion process.

How to compare AFUE ratings

To see how much money you could be saving with a more energy efficient furnace, do this:

1) Find your current furnace AFUE rating – The rating should be on your furnace’s faceplate. If it’s not, then look for the model or serial number of the furnace, which should be on the furnace or on the compressor outside. Use that model or serial number on the manufacturer’s website to find the furnace’s AFUE rating.

2) Compare your AFUE rating with other AFUE ratings on Energy.gov – Scroll down on this Energy.gov page until you find a chart titled “Annual Estimated Savings for Every $100 of Fuel Costs by Increasing Your Heating Equipment Efficiency” to find how much you would be saving with furnaces of various AFUE ratings.

Let’s go through an example using these two steps so you’ll know exactly what to do:

1) You look on your furnace’s faceplate and see that you have a furnace with an AFUE of 70%.

2) When looking at the Energy.gov chart, you see that if you upgrade to a furnace with an AFUE rating of 95%, you can save $26.32 a year for every $100 you spend on fuel – a savings of 26%.

Easy, right? You can take another step and see how much you will save over the furnace’s life. According to Consumer Reports, a fuel furnace typically lives about 18 years.

How to get professional help

If you’re interested in getting a new furnace installed, Nicholson HVAC offers free, in-home estimates. We can help you find a new energy-efficient furnace that fits your budget and meets your family’s needs.

Our level of commitment to our customer and superior service is the reason you can find comfort in choosing Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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