The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating tells you how much value you get for every dollar spent on heating. Basically if you paid X dollars for oil or gas towards heating of your rooms, AFUE will tell you what fraction of the amount showed up in your rooms as heat. So, if your AFUE rating is 80 percent, then it means that for every $100 spent on heating, you only get $80 worth of heat in your rooms. The other $20 goes out through the chimney or is lost in other ways. Each heating furnace or boiler is assigned a Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency number.
AFUE: Important, but With Qualifications
While Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency helps you determine the efficiency of a heating system, the metric should never be used alone in establishing the efficiency of a heating system. Lab reports from the U.S. Department of Energy indicate that AFUE is sometimes inaccurate, particularly for boilers that make water hot.
The Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, for instance, confirms that Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency misses significant areas when it comes to energy loss. According to a study released by the laboratory earlier on, AFUE ratings could be off by up to 25 percent. Such an error can underestimate your fuel consumption efficiency by as much as 47 percent.
You Still Need Regular Maintenance
A high performance heating system that isn’t properly maintained will still operate inefficiently. You need to clean and service the heating system regularly to improve efficiency.
Actually, a heating system rated at 90 percent by Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency might run at lower than 80 percent efficiency if not maintained properly.
It is also important to properly insulate the building in order to achieve greater heating efficiency.
About Aladdin Heating and Cooling
Aladdin Heating and Cooling is a Detroit Metro Area, Southeast Michigan-located heating company serving neighboring towns including but not limited to Novi, Troy, and Livonia. Call us today on 1-800-726-0079 for more information.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan 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.
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