AFUE is a ratings system that outlines the efficiency of furnaces (and boilers), revealing how much fuel is used to generate heat, and how much energy is lost. Rated as a percentage, the existing AFUE minimum for homeowners across the country stands at 78 AFUE. Early next year, new furnace efficiency standards require that homeowners purchase gas-fueled central furnaces rated 90 percent AFUE. New furnace efficiency standards for homeowners in the Southeast and Southwest will also go into affect; however, their new minimum standard will only rise to 80 percent AFUE.
The changes are designed to achieve lower energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase energy savings for homeowners by implementing specific guidelines that are climate-specific. Down the line, new efficiency standards for other types of equipment will take effect. Namely, new efficiency guidelines for cooling systems will become more strict, achieving the same goals for homeowners in both the South and the North.
What do these changes mean for you and your wallet? Furnaces rated 90 percent AFUE or higher are generally considered high-efficiency systems. They cost more to purchase, so you’ll have to front a sizable investment when purchasing one, but over their lifetime, they offer homeowners significant advantages. Because these systems generally utilized advanced features such as variable-speed air handlers and two-stage gas valves, among others, they operate with much less energy, which leads to higher monthly energy savings. In addition, these components tend to run longer cycles, with less starts and stops, which not only saves energy, reducing the home’s overall energy consumption, but the components will last longer, because they don’t run on high speed all the time.
For more information about new furnace efficiency standards, contact Ernst Heating & Cooling. We’ve served homeowners in the Metro-East area since 1951.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace efficiency standards and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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