Higher efficiency become the standard when choosing any home appliance. In the case of a furnace, high efficiency is measured by the AFUE standard rating. It is mentioned on a yellow energy star rating label outside the furnace cover. Ask your furnace contractor in Dawsonville to perform a prior energy assessment to avoid mistakes.
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating is the ratio of the annual heat production by the furnace and its energy consumption. It measures the heating output of your furnace in the form of energy. Simply put, the less fuel used to convert energy and produce heat, the higher the furnace’s efficiency.
The higher the AFUE rating, the higher the furnace efficiency. For example, if your furnace has an AFUE rating of 80%, it will convert 80 British thermal units out of 100 units into heat, and the rest 20% of fuel might go to waste.
The Ideal AFUE Rating
Typically, the older furnaces had an AFUE rating of an average of 60%. However, modern furnaces have an 80 to 90% AFUE rating, with an Energy Star certificate. Modern gas furnaces have an AFUE rating of 90 to 99%, which is nearly perfect.
These furnaces often contain two heat exchangers in a single combustion chamber and a condensing unit. Modern electrical furnaces always come with an AFUE rating of 100%, as no energy is lost in between. That’s why the operation costs are always higher than other fuels.
Impact of AFUE Rating on Cost
Are the energy-saving furnaces worth the high prices? The answer depends on several factors, including the level of usage, the design and insulation of your home, and the amount of time you wish to use your furnace.
The furnace is an expensive home appliance and comes in various sizes, models, fuel types, speeds, and heating features. Therefore, the final cost of high energy-efficiency models becomes almost twice the price of the standard models. It can be as low as $5,000 and go as high as $15,000. Counting the tax implications and extra costs, you should ask your contractor about the DOE’s regulations and savings.
Several extra costs are covered for people installing a furnace for the first time. It includes installing a complete duct system, vents, a sealed combustion system, and other minor expenses. The full-proofing of the ventilation system should also be a priority for gas furnaces. Every home is built differently, so keep a few major and minor expenses always in vision.
Remember, a high AFUE rating is not a guarantee for direct savings. Consider the above-given factors along with maintenance, repairs, tune-ups, and hiring a professional technician. Only after a heat load assessment can you determine how big a furnace your home requires and how much energy it will save.