What Is AFUE?

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If you have ever shopped around for a new oil boiler or new oil furnace, you have probably come across this acronym: AFUE, which stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.

AFUE is a type of energy efficiency rating used for furnaces and boilers. The AFUE number (which you can usually find on the yellow sticker on your heating system) represents how much of the fuel your equipment consumes is directed toward producing heat for your living space–as opposed to how much heating energy is wasted in the process.

For example, in a heating unit with an 83% AFUE unit, 83% of the fuel consumed by the heating system goes toward heating your home; the remaining 17% is lost in the combustion process– usually up the chimney.

Another way to think about AFUE is to consider it in terms of the dollars you spend on fuel. In an 83% AFUE furnace, 83 cents of every dollar goes toward heating your New Jersey home. If your furnace is old and not well maintained, your AFUE could drop into the 60s or even 50s – a big reason why the decision to upgrade your heating equipment often pays for itself fairly quickly.

Knowing the AFUE rating remains an important bit of information when it comes time to invest in new high efficiency heating equipment for your New Jersey home. Of course, AFUE doesn’t tell the whole efficiency story – proper heating system installation and periodic heating system maintenance are also extremely important pieces of the equation, as are several other factors.

Efficiency ratings can be a good general starting point, but it’s important to remember that the tests to determine AFUE are all done in a laboratory. Efficiency performance is only as good as your installer. Equipment needs to be installed to the manufacturer’s specifications so you can get the best performance and value for your investment.

If you’re looking for an energy efficient replacement for your old oil furnace or oil boiler, contact your local New Jersey heating contractor and they will be glad to help.