AFUE, an acronym for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is a type of energy efficiency rating used for furnaces and boilers, including those fueled by heating oil. The AFUE number—usually found on a yellow sticker attached to your heating system—represents how much of the fuel your equipment consumes is being directed toward producing heat for your living space.
For example, in a heating unit with an 84% AFUE unit, 84% of the fuel consumed by the heating system goes toward heating your home; the remaining 16% is lost in the combustion process—usually getting wasted up the chimney.
Another way to think about AFUE is to consider it in terms of the dollars you spend on fuel. In an 84% AFUE furnace, 84 cents of every dollar goes toward heating your Maine home. But if your oil-powered furnace or boiler is old and not well maintained, your actual AFUE could drop into the 60s or even 50s. This is a big reason why the decision to upgrade your heating equipment often pays for itself fairly quickly.
Knowing the AFUE rating remains an important bit of information when it comes time to invest in new high efficiency heating equipment for your Maine home. Of course, AFUE doesn’t tell the whole efficiency story – proper heating system installation and periodic heating system maintenance are also extremely important pieces of the equation, as are several other factors.
Efficiency ratings can be a good general starting point, but it’s important to remember that the tests to determine AFUE are all done in a laboratory. Efficiency performance is only as good as your installer. Equipment needs to be installed to the manufacturer’s specifications so you can get the best performance and value for your investment.
If you’re looking for an energy efficient replacement for your old oil furnace or oil boiler, contact your local Maine heating contractor and they will be glad to help.
The Maine Energy Marketers Association rebate program gives Maine homeowners ways to earn consumer rebates as they enjoy the benefits of high-efficiency oilheat equipment. Here’s what’s available:
The rebates are only the start of how you’ll benefit. In recent years, there have been so many improvements and advances in oilheat equipment. Today’s systems are not only more energy efficient, they’re more compact, saving you valuable space. But they’ll still keep your house affordably warm.