Most homes in the U.S. have either a furnace or boiler as the primary means of heating the home. A furnace heats the air and sends warm air through ducts within the home, while a boiler supplies the home with heat via hot water or steam.
How you can understand the efficiency of your furnace
A furnace measures its efficiency level by the (AFUE) “annual fuel utilization efficiency”. This is required by the Federal Trade Commission to be displayed on the furnace so that consumers may compare the efficiency of one furnace to another. The AFUE is the amount of energy the furnace transfers from energy to heat during the course of a year’s’ time.
If your furnace has a 90% AFUE rating, 90% of the furnace’s energy is being converted to heat, and the remaining 10% is escaping through the chimney or other areas within the home. However, some heat is lost through a faulty duct system which can amount to as much as 35% when there are furnace ducts located in the attic, garage or other areas of the home that are not completely conditioned as living quarters.
Some of the ways to recognize if a heating system is operating at a low-efficiency AFUE will have some of the following characteristics:
- Natural drafts that are generating a stream of ignition gases
- The pilot light stays on nonstop
- A substantial conversion of heat
- Has an AFUE of 56% to 70%
A heating system in the a mid-grade operating AFUE efficiency will have the following signs:
- A more exact regulator of how the exhaust fans manipulate the amount of combustion air and gases
- Instead of having a pilot light it will have an electronic ignitor
- The size of the system will be much smaller and buoyant in an attempt to cut back on any loss in cycling
- The flue pipe will be smaller in diameter
- The AFUE is between 80% to 83%
When the heating system is at the highest operating efficiency the furnace will have the following signs:
- For more effectiveness the flue gasses are in a second exchanger for better compressing
- has an impenetrable ignition
- the AFUE is from 90% to 98.5%
- A highly efficient furnace will aid in the reduction of air pollutants
You will need to have a qualified furnace professional come to your home to examine your furnace and heating system to make the above determinations. Only a professional will have the tools needed to determine what the actual AFUE input is on your current furnace.
If it is determined that your current furnace needs to be replaced, a professional can help you find a furnace that will convert energy at very high rates—up to 98.5% AFUE. By having an energy efficient furnace in your home you will be amazed at how much more comfortable the home is as well as the significant decrease in your energy bills.