Annual fuel utilization efficiency

The annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE; pronounced 'A'-'Few') is a thermal efficiency measure of combustion equipment like furnaces, boilers, and water heaters. The AFUE differs from the true 'thermal efficiency' in that it is not a steady-state, peak measure of conversion efficiency, but instead attempts to represent the actual, season-long, average efficiency of that piece of equipment, including the operating transients. [Systems and Equipment volume of the "ASHRAE Handbook", ASHRAE, Inc., Atlanta, GA, USA, 2004]

The method for determining the AFUE for residential furnaces is the subject of ASHRAE Standard 103. A furnace with a thermal efficiency (ηth) of 80% may yield an AFUE of only 64% or so, for example, under the Standard's test conditions. When estimating annual or seasonal energy used by combustion devices, the AFUE is the better efficiency measure to use in the calculations. ["Heating and Cooling of Buildings", Kreider and Rabl, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1994] But for an instantaneous fuel consumption rate, the thermal efficiency may be better.

ee also

*Coefficient of performance (COP)
*Energy efficiency ratio (EER)
*Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER)
*ASHRAE

References


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