The energy efficiency of any heating system should be an important consideration for your home. Why? Energy efficiency relates directly to fuel usage, and fuel usage can impact your home’s budget. Just as whole-home air conditioning systems have their energy efficiency rated by SEER numbers, so, too, do combustion heating systems: AFUE. Understanding what AFUE means can go a long way toward ensuring that your boiler installation in Northern Virginia is an energy efficient one.
The acronym AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. AFUE measures the efficiency of a combustion heating system’s ability to convert fuel into energy. AFUE is presented as a percentage, and this percentage will tell you exactly what percentage of your fuel is being used as energy and what part is lost to byproduct exhaust. For example, a boiler with an AFUE of 85% means that 85% of the fuel used becomes energy that heats your home and the other 15% is exhausted through your flue as combustion byproduct. Having this kind of specific information can help you choose a boiler that meets both your heating needs and your energy efficiency needs.
AFUE Standards for Boilers
Each type of combustion heating system has minimum AFUE standards as set by the Federal Trade Commission. When it comes to boilers, the type of fuel used to power the boiler helps to determine what the minimum AFUE number will be:
- Natural gas hot water boiler – minimum AFUE of 82%
- Natural gas steam boiler – minimum AFUE of 80%
- Oil hot water boiler – minimum AFUE of 84%
- Oil steam boiler – minimum AFUE of 82%
Condensing boilers, which are boilers that use the latent heat from combustion vapors, have AFUE’s well over 90%.
While AFUE should not be the only factor you consider for your boiler installation in Northern Virginia, it should be one of the top factors of the installation process.
Ready for a new boiler? Call the experts at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc., and schedule an appointment today!