As we have talked about many times on this website, fireplace efficiency is a key metric to choosing the right indoor fireplace for your space. When you are trying to figure out the efficiency of your fireplace two measurements can be used. BTU's, or the British Thermal Unit, is a common measurement that we discuss more in-depth in another article. Today, we will be talking about AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.
AFUE measures how efficiently your fireplace turns fuel into heat. This is measured by what percentage of the heat is lost up the chimney and how much of it heats a room. Because open faced wood fireplaces and open gas fireplaces are very inefficient and vent free fireplaces don't use a chimney system at all, AFUE isn't a helpful measurement to consider. Typically, AFUE is only needed when considering the heat efficiency of a direct vent fireplace.
It can be hard to balance all the measurements and ratings and come out with clear understanding of what you need, instead of a headache. Though, unless you are considering a direct vent appliance, the manufacturers data plate on your fireplace likely wont mention AFUE. So, that is one less thing to think about if you are looking for a vent free fireplace or open wood fireplace
Open fireplaces like the B vent fireplace and a traditional wood fireplace are typically used more for decoration because of their low efficiency. So, if you are in a colder climate & need a fireplace that packs a punch, those would probably not be the best option for you. This is where the AFUE rating would come in handy. Finding a wood stove or direct vent gas fireplace with a AFUE rating and BTU rating that meets the space requirements of your room will be important.
- open face fireplace
On our website, you will find details about the AFUE and BTU rating in the “product details” section of the product page. Once you make a decision and purchase a fireplace, another thing to keep in mind is the AFUE rating can change over time as the appliance gets older.
This won't happen over the course of a few months, but as the years go by, if you are not doing regular maintenance checks, the performance of your indoor fireplace will suffer. So, be sure to clean it regularly and have a professional chimney sweep come out every year if you have a wood burning fireplace.
- Echelon II
Should you have anymore questions about AFUE ratings or fireplace efficiency, please call us at 800.203.1642