Furnace And Heat Pipes

How Is Furnace Efficiency Determined in Chesapeake, VA?

November 20, 2023

All electric, gas-fired and oil-fired furnaces sold and installed throughout Chesapeake, VA come with annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings. These ratings ensure that home heating equipment meets basic, federal efficiency standards. They also make it easier for consumers to determine which furnace models will provide optimum performance at the lowest operating cost.

How Are AFUE Ratings Calculated?

AFUE ratings compare the amount of heat energy that furnaces produce to the amount of fuel they consume. For oil-fired and gas-fired heaters, most energy waste is the result of incompletely combusted fuel. For instance, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 80% converts 80% of the fuel that it burns into heat energy while losing the remaining 20% in exhaust gases.

Which Factors Make Furnaces Less Efficient?

When it comes to optimizing the efficiency of the heating equipment in your home, scheduling professional furnace services is a good start. However, several out-of-the-box characteristics make some fuel-burning furnaces a lot less efficient than their alternatives irrespective of how often or well they’re maintained. These include continuous pilot lights, designs that allow for air drafts and single heat exchangers

Modern furnaces have electric ignition switches rather than pilot lights, which means that they aren’t burning gas all of the time. High-efficiency furnaces additionally have two heat exchangers. When fuel is incompletely combusted in their first heat exchangers, these furnaces route exhaust gases to a second unit to collect nearly all residual heat before releasing the exhaust.

High-efficiency furnaces also have tightly sealed combustion chambers. This attribute eliminates the draftiness that’s common among low-efficiency models.

AFUE Ratings for Mid-Efficiency and High-Efficiency Furnaces

Low-efficiency furnaces have AFUE ratings between just 56% and 70%. However, you won’t find any low-efficiency furnaces for sale in Chesapeake or anywhere else in the United States. The legally allowed minimum for furnace AFUE ratings is 80%.

Mid-efficiency furnaces have AFUE ratings of 80% to 83%. Given that they’re equipped with second heat exchangers, the AFUE ratings for high-efficiency furnaces fall between 90% and 98.5%. Although you’ll pay a bit more for a high-efficiency furnace, this model will cost a lot less to use over time.

We’ve been proudly serving the region with superior workmanship and high-quality HVAC products since 1956. To schedule furnace maintenance or heating installation services in Chesapeake, VA, get in touch with Climatemakers today!

Image provided by iStock

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