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How AFUE Ratings Affect Your Furnace Purchase

How AFUE Ratings Affect Your Furnace PurchaseTaking climate factors into consideration, homeowners in the greater Calgary area are wise to invest in the most efficient furnace system possible. Current government standards for minimum efficiency ratings promote savings for heating and conservation of natural resources with a 90 percent AFUE rating. Learn what AFUE ratings mean, and the other terms you’ll need to know when purchasing a furnace.

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, and you’ll see AFUE ratings on EnerGuide labels affixed to furnaces; it’s used for boilers too. This rating is valuable because it shows consumers how a furnace will perform over the course of one heating season. Generally speaking, you can estimate that a 90 percent AFUE-rated furnace will utilize a full 90 percent of the energy it consumes to generate heat for the home. However, this same system will lose 10 percent of that energy, either up the chimney or elsewhere.

Nearly every type of furnace that burns fuel experiences some degree of heat loss, with the exception of electric systems rated 100 AFUE; however, electric systems are generally not cost effective to use due to the high prices and climate factors. Heat lost when the system cycles on and off, starting up in a cold state, combustion losses and escaping heat up the chimney or venting lead to heat loss. This is generally identified through the AFUE ratings.

Steady-state efficiency is another rating that may prove useful when purchasing a furnace. Similar to vehicle miles on the highway, steady-state efficiency measures how well a furnace performs when it runs at its peak.

Together, homeowners can use steady-state efficiency, heat loss and AFUE ratings to compare several furnace types in order to choose the best heating system to meet your comfort needs and budget requirements.

Contact the professionals at Arpi’s Industries when it comes time to select a new furnace. We’ll walk you through AFUE ratings, sizing factors and our installation procedures to put your mind at ease. We’ve served greater Calgary homeowners since 1963, and we’re happy to help. Give us a call or visit our website for more information.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about AFUE ratings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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