What Exactly Is AFUE and How Does It Affect Your Cooling?

AFUEHow do you measure the efficiency of your HVAC system? Different types of units use different metrics. Your AC uses the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and your furnace uses Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Here’s how it affects you.

What Is AFUE?

Your furnace’s efficiency is measured by the percentage of fuel it utilizes as heat versus how much it gives off as exhaust. A furnace with an AFUE of 85 is 85% effective, with only 15% waste. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system.

The minimum efficiency rating for gas furnaces is 80%. However, the most efficient models go all the way up to 98 or more, producing less than 2% waste.

If you’re shopping for a new furnace, check the yellow EnergyGuide label. It tells you not just the unit’s efficiency rating but also where it ranks compared to similar models. A furnace with a rating of 80 will technically meet the standard, but if it falls toward the left side of the scale, you know you can find a more efficient model for a similar price to save money and energy.

When Heating and Cooling Are Connected

Since AFUE measures your furnace’s energy output, it doesn’t actually affect your cooling. However, there are other ways in which home heating and cooling are connected, particularly if you have a heat pump.

Instead of having two separate units for heating and cooling, a heat pump can do both. In summer, it functions like a regular AC. Heat is extracted from the air. The cool air is pumped into your home and the heat is vented outside.

However, in winter, you can switch the airflow so the heat is circulated through your home and the cool air gets vented out. It’s much more efficient than a traditional furnace and is perfect for areas like Florida that have milder winter climates.

For more help understanding AFUE ratings and finding the most efficient cooling system for your home, contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating. Martin, Palm Beach, and Indian River counties trust us for quality home-comfort solutions.

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