In the current economy, being able to save some money on heating bills is a very attractive concept for most families. Unfortunately, most people don’t know much about their boilers, let alone how to save money on them. That’s where AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, can be a really big help. AFUE is the ratio of your heating appliance’s total heat output to the total amount of energy it consumes. For example, if your heating system has an AFUE rating of 80 percent, then it converts 80 percent of the energy it uses into heat, and the remaining 20 percent is wasted.
So, the higher your boiler’s AFUE rating is, the less energy is wasted. This is where the potential for savings comes into play. It’s extremely important to realize that you still have to pay for all of the energy that your heating system wastes, so while you may only be getting heat from 80 percent, you’re still getting charged for all of it.
That being said, it isn’t always easy to tell when an upgrade is necessary. While a better AFUE rating means savings in the long run, it also means spending more money in the first place. Keep in mind that newer heating systems sport AFUE ratings of above 95 percent, so if you’re still running one in the 80 percent range, there is likely a considerable amount of money to be saved on heating bills with an upgrade. The initial investment might seem high, but you will recoup much of that investment in heating bill savings over time.
So, when considering a new boiler for your home, be sure to keep AFUE ratings, and their impact, in mind. For all of your Long Island area cooling and heating needs, consider contacting us at T.F. O’Brien Cooling and Heating.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about boiler efficiency, AFUE ratings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.