Furnace Efficiency Ratings: A Guide To Selecting A Heating System To Maximize Home Comfort

by Don Rackler on

new heating system decisions, San Antonio, TexasWhen it comes time to select a new heating system, it’s important that homeowners prioritize furnace efficiency ratings. Efficiency ratings in general are the primary indicator of how well a heating system will perform, so here’s what you need to know:

The efficiency rating you want to look for when assessing a furnace system is AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency. This is a basic measurement of how well a system will use fuel, natural gas or propane for instance, to produce heat for your home. High-efficiency systems start at 90 AFUE, and they will get you the best results as far as energy efficiency goes. Mid-efficiency systems start at 80 AFUE, while the minimum efficiency manufacturers must produce is set at 78 AFUE. It’s best to talk with your HVAC contractor to determine which system will best fit your home.

Many homeowners in the San Antonio area use a heat pump as their heating source. And this type of system gets good results for two reasons:

  • These systems don’t generate heat from fuel (electricity); instead, they use electricity to move heat around (from the outside to the inside during winter, and vice versa during summer), which allows them to reap a four dollar return for every dollar spent.
  • They also act as a heating and cooling system, which makes them a smart investment if you need to replace both. A heat pump’s efficiency rating is heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), and high-efficiency ratings begin at 8.

To maximize home comfort and efficiency, you should also have your new system sized. You can choose a top-of-the line heating system, but if it’s not sized correctly, you won’t get a good return on your investment — as the system won’t reach peak efficiency.

If you’re facing a heating system replacement, use furnace efficiency ratings, along with heat pump ratings and sizing factors, to guide your choice. The HVAC experts at Jon Wayne Heating & Air Conditioning are happy to help. Just give us a call today. We’ve been assisting homeowners in maximizing comfort and efficiency in their San Antonio homes since the mid-1970s.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Decision image via Shutterstock

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