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Furnace Efficiency Explained – The Meaning of AFUE

  • October 2013
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As a guide to furnace efficiency, AFUE ratings are the standard to go by for your Indiana home. But what does this AFUE rating really mean? It stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. At a quick glance, it tells you how efficient the furnace is supposed to be. This is helpful to know if you’re considering repairing or replacing your existing furnace.

The AFUE rating is determined by taking the amount of fuel that the furnace will use in a year and comparing that to the amount of heat generated by the furnace. Older furnaces might have an AFUE rating as low as 70 percent, while newer gas fired furnaces are required to have a minimum AFUE rating of 80 percent. This means that the furnace uses at least 80 percent of the fuel that it consumes in a year to generate heat.

There are several energy-efficient options a furnace can have to encourage greater energy savings. Some of these features include:

  • Electronic ignition instead of having a pilot light burning constantly
  • A second heat exchanger to help recycle heated air from the furnace’s exhaust
  • A smaller diameter flue pipe which reduces the amount of heat and fuel that can escape the furnace
  • Sealed combustion chambers to  reduce the problems that non-sealed combustion chambers have. Specifically, they don’t waste energy heating air that will escape out through chimney.

For more questions about furnace efficiency, AFUE ratings or other home comfort-related issues, contact Meyer’s. We’ve been providing professional heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing services in and around the Gary area for over 60 years.