Fall is the perfect time of year for furnace shopping. You have time to shop around, find the best model for your needs and have it installed before the cold New Jersey winter is here. However, you can’t just run out and grab the first furnace you see.

For energy savings and maximum comfort, you need to understand what annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings are and why they are so important when you’re doing furnace shopping. Your guide to AFUE:

The efficiency of the model – The AFUE rating tells you the percentage of the energy consumed that’s successfully converted to heat for your home. For example, if a model is rated 90, that means 90 percent of the energy that comes in is converted to heat while 10 percent is used to operate the furnace or lost to waste.

Why it’s important to know – Heating your home accounts for more energy consumption than anything else you do in your house. If you have an older furnace, its AFUE may be below 60 percent, so heating may eat up an even greater percentage. Compare that to a new model which can have efficiency ratings better than 90 percent and even better than 95 percent for electrical models.

Making the right choice – Each situation is different, so we can’t offer a one-size-fits-all solution here. Take a long look at your energy bills from last year and do your best to calculate your savings, especially during the winter months. Now you can make an informed decision about whether each model fits your budget and is worth the price.

Include professional installation – You’ve based all your calculations on the manufacturer-promised AFUE ratings so you need that level of performance to be realized. Before you make the purchase, have an HVAC expert size your home’s heating load and install the new furnace so everything is done exactly as it should be.

If you want advice from an HVAC expert about furnace shopping, contact Pipe Works Services. Our goal is always to be the best service company in the New Jersey area. We’ve been proudly serving homeowners here for more than a decade. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chatham, NJ, and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).


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