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What’s a Good AFUE Rating, and Why Is It Important?

To many homeowners, the technical side of HVAC can be confusing. Understanding the basics can help you in the long run since this is an integral part of your home.

You may have never heard the term AFUE before, but it plays an essential role in how well your furnace operates. In our most recent blog, Star Heating & Cooling, explains what an AFUE rating is and how it impacts your furnace. With a better understanding of AFUE ratings, you’ll know more about your furnace and how it operates, and what’s a good AFUE rating to look for when shopping for a new, energy-efficient, HVAC system!

What Is an AFUE Rating?

Before discussing a good AFUE rating, let’s define the term.. AFUE is an acronym for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, a measure used to express the energy efficiency of a furnace that uses natural gas, propane, or heating oil. In simple terms, the AFUE rating measures how well your furnace converts fuel to energy for heating over an entire season. 

The total heat output is divided by the total fuel input to determine the AFUE rating for a particular furnace model.

If your furnace has a good AFUE rating of 90, it can convert 100 BTUs of natural gas into 90 BTUs of actual energy. An older furnace with an AFUE of only 80 means that of the 100 BTUs of natural gas input, about 20% goes to waste.

What Does an AFUE Rating Mean for My Home?

If you pay close attention to the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating of furnace models you are considering buying, you will understand how cost-effective the unit will be to operate and can more easily decide what’s a good AFUE rating for your home and budget. 

In an 80 AFUE furnace, 20 percent of the fuel consumed is wasted. Think of this as 80 cents of every dollar you spend on your gas bill actually being used to heat your home’s air, while the remaining 20 cents are thrown away. 

When searching for high-efficiency models with AFUE in mind, more of your energy dollars are actually spent for your family’s benefit. The higher the AFUE, the more of your money makes heat. It costs less to operate a high-efficiency furnace throughout the cold season because energy waste is drastically limited in these units.

What’s a Good AFUE Rating When Shopping for a New Furnace?

Back in the 1970s, a typical gas furnace had an AFUE of only 65. Today, the minimum AFUE rating allowed by law is 78, though shortly, it will be much higher. Furnace manufacturers are constantly working on improving their products and services and meeting the demand of every homeowner looking for the best products on the market. What’s a good AFUE rating now is much different than it was a few decades ago.

For many homeowners, the most crucial factor when choosing a furnace is the model’s annual fuel utilization efficiency. The highest AFUE furnace we offer at this time is the Infinity 98 Gas Furnace with Greenspeed Intelligence with an efficiency that is up to 98.5%. 

What’s a good AFUE rating if you’re looking for a high-efficiency unit? Typically, 90% AFUE and up is considered high efficiency.

What Is a Good AFUE Rating for Central Indiana Homes?

Here in the Midwest, gas furnaces with higher Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency values make sense to consider. The Central Indiana cold season can run from late October through early April. In this colder climate, switching to a heating system with a high AFUE rating than your old model produces a noticeable reduction in energy consumption and utility costs. You will use less energy to heat your home with a higher AFUE rating.

Need Help Selecting a New Furnace?

Rely on the sales team and technicians of Star Heating & Cooling to help you find the best furnace for your home, your energy usage, and your budget. We will share our knowledge and expertise to help you determine how an AFUE rating should impact your purchase. We understand that every house is unique, which is why we approach every client with a customized approach to their problem.

Contact Us Today!

If you live in Marion or Hamilton counties in Indiana, please contact us for a free estimate at 317-753-0279. Trust the technicians at Star Heating & Cooling for all of your home’s new heating and cooling systems needs.