What Is AFUE?

Alphabet soup

If you have shopped for home comfort equipment recently, you have more than likely encountered a virtual alphabet soup of acronyms in your research – SEER, EER, and HSPF, to name a few. One of the most important of those acronyms is AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.

AFUE is a type of energy efficiency rating of heating appliances, including furnaces, boilers, and water heaters. The AFUE number (which you can usually find on the yellow sticker on your appliance) represents how much of the fuel your equipment consumes is actually directed toward producing heat for your living space (as opposed to how much energy is wasted along the way). For example, in an 84 AFUE unit, 84 percent of the fuel consumed by the machine goes to heating your home; the remaining 16 percent is lost in transit – usually up the chimney.

In 2015, the federal government raised the minimum AFUE rating on furnaces from 78 to 80 percent; oil-fired boilers are required to produce an AFUE rating of 84 percent.

One way to think about AFUE is to consider it in terms of the dollars you spend on fuel: In an 84 AFUE furnace, 84 cents of every dollar goes toward heating your Long Island 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 pretty quickly.

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. But knowing the AFUE rating remains an important bit of information when it comes time to invest in new high efficiency heating equipment for your North Fork or East End home.

Looking for an energy efficient replacement for your furnace, boiler, or water heater? We can help! Contact us today for a FREE, no obligation estimate on a unit that’s sized for your home, budget, and lifestyle.