Condensing gas furnaces are among the most important recent innovations in HVAC technology. As with most high-efficiency technology, they do cost more than the standard option upfront, but the savings from having efficiency ratings of up to 98 percent often make up for the original cost over time. There are four main features of condensing furnaces that contribute to quality performance and high efficiency:
- Sealed Combustion: A typical combustion chamber uses air from your home while burning fuel. A condensing furnace uses a sealed chamber that doesn’t interact with the air in your home; it only takes in air from outside. This not only provides functionality for other features of the furnace, but it improves operational safety.
- Secondary Heat Exchanger: This is the most important contributor to the extra efficiency of a condensing gas furnace. The exhaust gases from the combustion chamber go through the secondary heat exchanger where almost all the heat is taken out and then used for heating purposes. Condensation occurs at this step, which is where this type of furnace gets its name.
- Variable-Speed Blowers: These blowers allow the airflow to be adjusted constantly as needed, opposed to standard furnaces that have a fixed high air speed. They adapt to circumstances, saving energy, providing more even heating, reducing system wear and tear, operating more quietly, and doing a better job of filtering indoor air.
- Multi- or Two-Stage Burners: These burners allow the furnace to minimize fuel waste by only burning as much as needed. Instead of overshooting heating targets like conventional furnaces do, these burners can burn more or less depending on the heating goal at hand. The burners, combined with the variable-speed blowers, contribute not only to efficiency savings, but will result in a more comfortable home because of the enhanced precision in heating control.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about condensing gas furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock