You spend money each winter to keep your family warm with a furnace. You might be spending too much, however, because your furnace is an old model with low energy efficiency. When you decide to upgrade to a new furnace, one of the best ways to lower your winter heating bills is to purchase one of the many models of high-efficiency furnaces that are on the market.
Before we go further about ways high-efficiency gas furnaces can lower utility bills, we want to stress that no furnace can guarantee lower heating costs. This is because efficiency isn’t the only factor to consider when installing a new furnace. A furnace that’s the wrong size or type can end up being a money-waster, no matter if it has the highest efficiency rating possible. The best way to ensure you have a furnace that will save money is to schedule the replacement with our professionals. We handle everything from installation to furnace repair in Rio Rancho, NM.
The Condensing Furnace
The most common type of high-efficiency furnace is called the condensing furnace. This type of heating system has two separate heat exchangers rather than one. The first heat exchanger collects combustion gas and transfers the heat of the gas through the metal walls to the air. This is what a standard furnace does, but instead of then venting the exhaust vapor out of the exchanger through a flue, in a condensing furnace this vapor goes to a second exchanger. The vapor is condensed there, pulling even more heat from it. The leftover water moisture is then sent out a condensate line.
Another feature of high-efficiency furnace is multi-stage burners. In a standard furnace, the burners are either on or off. Nothing between. Multi-stage burners can modulate how much energy they consume so they don’t always have to burn at maximum power. The climate control system in the house automatically adjusts the burners to match the heating needs of the house. The furnace won’t have to run at full power as often, lowering how much gas the heater uses.
Variable Speed Fans
This feature is similar in how it works to the multi-stage burners. The blower fan in the air handler can alter the speed it runs at so it can operate at 60% capacity rather than simply 0% or 100%. This lowers electrical consumption since the fan will run at lower capacity the majority of the time, only ramping up when the thermostat signals its necessary. (Yes, your gas furnace uses electrical power as well.)
The conventional furnace draws on the air necessary to ignite the burners and keep them on from the air around the furnace. This is known as atmospheric combustion. A furnace with sealed combustion draws air into the combustion chamber through a PVC pipe that leads to the outside of the house. This allows the combustion chamber to be closed off to the house, preventing valuable heat loss. Sealed combustion furnaces are also safer and won’t lead to drier air getting pulled into the house.
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