If the time has come to replace your old furnace, then there are a few select factors that you’ll want to be sure to keep in mind during your search. Among the most important of these is the AFUE rating. AFUE stands for “annual fuel utilization efficiency,” and it gauges how well a furnace can convert energy into actual heat. The higher the rating, the higher percentage of energy is being converted — and the lower percentage of energy is going to waste.

Since you pay for all of the energy that your appliances waste, a higher AFUE rating means lower heating costs when those monthly utility bills come around. Average AFUE ratings of furnaces have raised significantly over the last couple of decades, meaning a unit doesn’t necessarily need to be all that old to be outdated in terms of efficiency. Granted, a furnace with an 80 percent AFUE rating is going to be cheaper initially than one with a 95 percent rating, but down the road that higher efficiency unit is going to recoup its original cost. Most of these savings will come from the reduction in wasted energy.

In addition to that, furnaces with higher AFUE ratings also run more smoothly and reliably, meaning breakdowns and other major technical problems become significantly less common. That being said, AFUE ratings shouldn’t be the only criteria you consider when purchasing a new furnace. One smart thing you can always do is contact a local HVAC contractor and have them “run the numbers” on all of the furnaces you’re considering. By analyzing certain criteria, such as efficiency ratings, local energy prices, and specific aspects of your home, they can accurately predict the lifetime costs for any furnaces you’re thinking about purchasing. This way, you shouldn’t end up being unpleasantly surprised by your heating system’s long-term costs.

For all of your HVAC needs in New Jersey, contact us at Pipe Works Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers 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. Pipe Works Services serves Chatham, NJ, and the surrounding areas.

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