How High-Efficiency Furnaces Save Money


You spend money each winter to keep your family warm with a furnace. However, you might be paying too much if 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 a high-efficiency furnace.

Before we go any further, we want to stress that no furnace can guarantee lower heating costs. Efficiency isn’t the only factor to consider when installing a new furnace when it comes to lower prices. 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 a replacement with one of our professionals. We handle everything from installation to furnace repair in Santa Fe.

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 gas’s heat through the metal walls to the air. This action is what a standard furnace does. However, instead of venting the exhaust vapor through a flue, this vapor goes to a second exchanger. Here in the condensing furnace, the vapor is condensed, pulling even more heat from it. The system then sends out the remaining moisture in a condensate line.

Multi-Stage Burners

Another feature of a high-efficiency furnace is multi-stage burners. In a standard furnace, the burners are either on or off—nothing in-between. Multi-stage burners can modulate how much energy they consume, so they don’t always have to burn at maximum power. The house’s climate control system automatically adjusts the burners to match the house’s heating needs. As a result, the furnace won’t have to run at total capacity as often, lowering how much gas the heater uses.

Variable Speed Fans

This feature is similar to how it works in multi-stage burners. The blower fan in the air handler can alter the speed it runs to operate at 60% capacity rather than simply 0% or 100%. This change lowers electrical consumption since the fan will run at a lower capacity most of the time, only ramping up when the thermostat signals it’s necessary. (Yes, your gas furnace uses electrical power as well.)

Sealed Combustion

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 setup 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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