Person holding a plant

What’s a Good AFUE Rating, and Why Is It Important?

Your car consumes gas. The rate that it consumes gas is your Miles Per Gallon. Your furnace also consumes gas. Does your furnace have a similar measurement of consumption? Yes. Furnaces are rated by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio.

The heating and cooling experts at Redman are here to explain what an AFUE rating is and what is considered a “good” rating. Knowing about AFUE ratings will come in handy the next time you’re considering purchasing a new furnace.

To learn more about furnaces or other components of your home’s heating system, ask Redman, your home service hero. We are Colombia City’s trusted heating, cooling, and plumbing specialists for nearly 75 years. 

What Is an AFUE Rating?

The AFUE ratio is the percent of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed. You want a car that can run for many miles on a gallon of gas; the same is true for an AFUE rating. A good AFUE rating means that there is a lot of heat produced for one dollar. The higher the AFUE rating, the better it is.  A furnace that has an 80 percent AFUE rating can turn 80 percent of the energy it consumes into heat. The other 20 percent is used during the heating process.

The furnace annual fuel utilization efficiency rating is calculated using the total annual heating output from the furnace versus the amount of fuel input over the same time period. The published rating of a furnace should be considered its average rating, not the efficiency it will achieve every single day. 

What Is Considered a Good AFUE Rating?

For most furnaces, AFUE ratings for less efficient models are usually between 50-75%. However, the current minimum for modern furnaces allowed by the Department of Energy is 80% for southern states. Mid-efficiency AFUE ratings are 80-83%, and high-efficiency AFUE ratings are 90% and above. You may notice that as AFUE ratings get higher on certain models of furnaces, so do the prices. You want to eliminate your environmental waste and save energy, but you might not be able to afford a high-efficiency furnace. A rating of 85% or above is considered a high AFUE rating.

Electric and gas furnaces vary in size based on the size of your home. If your furnace is too small for your home, it’s going to have to work a lot harder, and it’s not going to be very efficient. Make sure you work with your local HVAC company to ensure your furnace is the right size for your home. 

Take Other Furnace Components Into Consideration

When shopping for a new furnace, don’t rely on an AFUE rating alone. Be sure to check to see what kind of fuel your furnace needs to operate. The AFUE rating might not be better if the fuel is more costly. Be sure to check if your new furnace will need natural gas or oil. Electric furnaces are usually more energy efficient, but they won’t heat your home as fast as a gas furnace.

Be sure to look out for important features you might also want on your furnace. Two furnaces can have the same AFUE rating, but one might lack comfort features like low- and high-stage heating and variable-speed operation. The AFUE ratings for furnaces are established as though they were installed in an ideal home with proper ductwork and ventilation. If you have leaky ducts and vents, your heating equipment could be less efficient than advertised once it’s installed in your home.

Redman Is Here to Keep Your Home Warm

If you’re shopping around for a new furnace, ask Redman for help. We offer a 12-Year Parts and Labor Warranty on any new Daikin Furnace. If energy efficiency is an important factor when buying a new furnace, ask us about the AFUE ratings of our units. We can help find the perfect furnace to keep your home warm all winter long.