The Federal Trade Commission requires that new furnaces display an annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE, a rating that consumers can use when doing their comparison shopping. Why does AFUE matter when you’re replacing your furnace? Knowing the measurement of your new furnace’s efficiency about the energy in its fuel over a typical year is a useful fact to know when making such a major purchase. AFUE specifically measures the ratio of heat output versus total energy consumed. For instance, an AFUE of 85 percent means 85 percent of the fuel’s energy is utilized as heat for the home, but the remaining 15 percent escapes elsewhere, through the chimney, for example. Something to keep in mind: AFUE doesn’t account for heat losses in pipes or ductwork, and these losses can run as high as 35 percent. Of course, all-electric furnaces have no heat loss through the chimney, so their rating is between 95 and 100 percent. Despite an all-electric furnace’s high efficiency, the cost of electricity these days is high and should be taken into account. This could outweigh the high rating, in economic terms. If you’re serious about electric heat, consider researching heat pumps since they can be much more cost-effective. A fossil-fueled non-condensing warm air furnace’s minimum required rating is 78. A condensing furnace is up to 10 percent higher and more expensive. But over 15 to 20 years, it can save you quite a bit of money, particularly in cold climates like here in New Jersey. Before you replace your furnace, consider that a 97 percent rating could cut your heating bills by up to 20 percent. Before purchasing any new furnace though, it’s smart to ask your utility provider for a home energy audit, just so you’re sure you’re making the best decision for your home. Pipe Works Services proudly offers professional, quality service and the highest quality products. We’ll gladly answer your questions and offer advice for your particular needs. Contact us today. 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 Chatham, NJ, and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!

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