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What Is AFUE and How Does It Affect Heating Repair?

If you’ve spent any time shopping for a new heating system, or if you’ve taken time to inspect the furnace or boiler in your home, you may have come across the letters AFUE. What do they stand for, and do they have any effect on heating repair?

Understanding AFUE is important, and we’ll explain what those letters mean in this post. If you have more questions, contact A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning. We are available 24-hours a day with emergency heating repair in Hammond, LA.

AFUE = “annual fuel utilization efficiency”

The acronym AFUE stands for “annual fuel utilization efficiency.” It measures how efficiently a heating system burns fuel to create heat. It is expressed as a percentage measuring the amount of units of heat produced for every 100 units of fuel burned. So a gas furnace with an AFUE rating of 85% returns 85 units of heat (measured in BTUs) for every 100 units of natural gas it burns. The higher the AFUE rating, the less fuel the heater wastes.

For the sake of comparison, the AFUE rating of burning wood is 45%-55%. Mid-efficiency natural gas heaters score between 78% and 85%, while high-efficiency models can score from 90% all the way to 98%. For a gas furnace to receive the U.S. Energy Star label, it must have AFUE of 90% or greater.

(AFUE only applies to furnaces and boilers. Heat pumps use a different set of efficiency ratings.)

How does AFUE affect heating repair?

AFUE does not have a direct effect on heating repair, but it can indicate some of what you might expect from a heater. As a general rule, the higher the AFUE is on a heating system, the more complex the system. For example, a high-efficiency condensing furnace, which can achieve an AFUE rating of 98%, contains more components and mechanisms than a standard furnace. High-efficiency furnaces need to have more stringent maintenance and repairs to keep them running at their best.

However, this doesn’t mean that if you have a lower-efficiency heater with an AFUE rating in the 80%-90% range that you can go slack with getting repairs or scheduling maintenance. Make certain you have signed up for a regular maintenance program so your heater receives annual check-ups and tune-ups, and that you never let a repair need go without immediate professional attention.

Whatever the AFUE of your heater, A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning can handle your heating repair in Hammond, LA. Call us any time of the day or night for repairs, and look into the benefits of our maintenance program.

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