This winter has been a bear, which may be reflected in high heating bills if you have an old furnace. Condensing furnaces take the bite out of high heating bills and deliver comfortable heating throughout the home. Read on if you would like to tame your energy bills.
What Is a Condensing Furnace?
Condensing furnaces utilize high-efficiency components and features to extract over 98 percent heat energy from fuel combustion (as measured by AFUE, annual fuel utilization efficiency) for home heating. That’s a fuel savings of 23 to 33 percent compared to old furnaces that deliver around 65 to 75 percent AFUE.
Condensing furnaces are able to reach great fuel efficiency because of a second heat exchanger that extracts heat energy from hot exhaust gases that would normally be wasted up the flue. This is how it works:
- Once the exhaust exits the primary heat exchanger, as in conventional furnaces, the gases enter a stainless steel chamber of small tubes.
- Heat energy is extracted as the gases cool and condensation occurs.
- The cooled exhaust gases are pulled through sealed plastic pipes for venting.
- Acidic condensate is drained away.
Variable Capacity Heating
A second heat exchanger isn’t the only advanced feature responsible for high fuel efficiency. Condensing furnaces utilize modulating gas valves and variable-speed blowers. These variable-speed components allow for precise heating adjustments in increments as small as 1 percent.
The variable-speed blowers use substantially less electricity – energy savings not factored into AFUE. Variable-speed blowers deliver smooth, comfortable and even heating in longer cycles. Those sudden blasts of cold air are gone with variable-speed components.
In addition to sealed venting for safer operation, a sealed combustion chamber uses only air from outside the home. This is safer and more efficient since sealed combustion isolates carbon monoxide from household air, and warm household air is not used for heating.
If you would like to take the bite out of your heating bills, call Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing for more information about condensing furnaces. We’ve proudly served homeowners in Grand Traverse County and the surrounding area for over 30 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about condensing furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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