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How Efficient Are Today’s Oil Furnaces?
Posted: March 22, 2021

heating oil service new jerseyA heating oil furnace is a great option for your home – it can be installed in any town (no pipeline needed), your fuel is safe to use and deliver, and you will always know it can provide enough heat to withstand the most bitter New Jersey winter. Oil furnaces are built to last, too, with lifespans that can exceed 20 years with regular maintenance.

Sounds great, right – but what about efficiency?

Efficiency is indeed critical when choosing a furnace – the higher the efficiency, the lower your monthly fuel bills. So, are heating oil furnaces efficient? Let’s take a look.

AFUE: A Good Place To Start

One of the more important ways to measure efficiency in a furnace is AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. The AFUE number assigned to your furnace compares how much fuel your equipment consumes to how much heat it produces for your home. In an 84 AFUE unit, 84 percent of the fuel your equipment burns heats air that will make it into your living space; the remaining 16 percent of that heat is lost somewhere along the way (usually as exhaust).

Most new oil furnaces have AFUE ratings between 84 percent (the legal minimum) and 90 percent. But if your furnace is old and not well maintained, your AFUE could drop into the 60s or even lower – a big reason why the decision to upgrade your older heating equipment often pays for itself pretty quickly.

…but AFUE Isn’t Enough!

Of course, AFUE doesn’t tell the whole efficiency story. For example, natural gas furnaces can have AFUE ratings that reach the upper 90s – but gas produces fewer BTUs per gallon than heating oil when burned, so whatever benefit you get from improved efficiency is offset by gas’ lower heating power. Proper heating system installation and maintenance are also extremely important pieces of the efficiency equation.

Oil Furnace Efficiency Summed Up

So is an oil furnace efficient? The answer is a qualified “yes, if…” If you have your furnace installed and regularly maintained by an expert, it can stand up to any furnace available today when it comes to providing heating bank for the buck. An older or poorly maintained heating oil furnace? Not so much.

If you’re not sure how well your furnace is performing, contact us – we can do a heating system inspection and run some tests to see if you’re getting the most value for your money from your current furnace, or if a high-efficiency replacement might be a better bet in the long run.

Need service to help your oil furnace run at peak efficiency – or a heating oil delivery in NJ to top off your tank? We can help. Contact the heating pros at Fredericks Fuel & Heating Service today to learn more about heating oil equipment service and installation in New Jersey!