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AFUE Is a Key Word When Discussing Furnace Efficiency

Posted on November 20, 2014

When you are shopping for a furnace for your Wichita area home, you should make sure that you understand how furnaces and heat pumps are rated, in order to make the best investment for your home. 

Furnace ratings are determined by how efficiently they utilize the fuel that they consume in a year. By determining the amount of heat that the unit generates, and comparing it to the amount of fuel consumed in a year, the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE rating is obtained.

Older furnaces might have had a 60 percent AFUE rating, where most modern furnaces will have a rating closer to 80 percent. In 2015, the United States Department of Energy will require all furnaces sold in the U.S. to have a minimum AFUE rating of 80 percent.

If you are more concerned with saving money on your monthly utility bills, then there are furnaces that achieve more than 95 percent AFUE. These furnaces come with the Energy Star label, and use quite a few advances in technology to achieve a much higher efficiency rating.

One of these advances is a second heat exchanger. This takes the heat from the exhaust and uses that heat to help warm the air coming out of the furnace, going towards the vents. Another advance is smaller flue pipes. This helps reduce the amount of hot air that escapes the furnace into the chimney, and outside of the house. These furnaces require more of an upfront investment in the equipment, but will help you recover most of that cost by reducing your monthly utility bills.

For more expert information about what type of furnace is best for your home, or other home comfort related questions, contact the processionals at Comfort Systems. We have been proudly serving the Wichita Kansas area for more than 15 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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