Hayward HVAC Advice: Don’t Ignore AFUE When Furnace Shopping!

At Ortiz Heating & A/C, we like to keep our customer informed so they can make smart buying decisions when needing a new furnace or HVAC system. It’s not enough to know that you need to purchase a new furnace; an important factor in selecting a new unit is AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency. Sounds confusing, right? It isn’t – it’s actually quite simple.

AFUE measures the percentage of fuel used by your furnace in heating your home, and the percentage wasted. Essentially, the wasted fuel is costing you money. An easy example of how an AFUE measurement works is: if the furnace has an AFUE of 83, it means 83% of the fuel being used goes toward heating your home. The remaining 17% is wasted.

Here is a quick breakdown of the categories of AFUE ratings for fuel-burning furnaces.

Low efficiency. Older model furnaces which were manufactured prior to 1992 when new minimum AFUE standards were instituted often have an AFUE below 78%. The U.S. Government set 78% as the minimum standard required in 1992.

Mid-range efficiency. Mid-range or “average” efficiency furnaces usually have an AFUE rating of 80-83%. Furnaces that fall in this category are typically suitable for homes in regions with low annual heating expenses, or those that do not get extremely cold in winter months.

High-efficiency. Areas which experience extremely cold winters enjoy greater energy efficiency with units offering an AFUE ranking of 90% or more. These units are generally more expensive than those with lower AFUE ratings, however the energy savings over time recovers the initial added expense.

Of course, fuel-burning furnaces are not the only option for Hayward homeowners; electric furnaces are energy efficient, but not as cost efficient in many regions of the U.S. The majority of new furnaces purchased by homeowners today are fueled by oil or natural gas.

At Ortiz Heating & Air Conditioning, we know that temperatures get downright chilly at times in Hayward, San Mateo and surrounding areas. Whether your heating system is outdated or inefficient, give us a call! We’re the Hayward HVAC contractors you can trust for expert, efficient installation and service.