Condensing gas furnaces are among the most energy-efficient options for keeping away the cold of southeast Michigan’s winters. If you’ve been thinking about installing one of these furnaces in your home, knowing the basics of how they work will make your comparison shopping a little easier.
Like a non-condensing furnace, a condensing furnace uses a gas burner to heat air and a blower fan to move air through the furnace unit and ducts. The difference is in the heat extraction process. The process used by condensing gas furnaces lets them achieve AFUEs (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of up to 98.5 percent, whereas mid-efficiency gas furnace AFUEs don’t reach beyond 90 percent.
Among the essential components are the:
Blower motor — A condensing furnace may contain either a conventional permanent split-capacitor (PSC) motor or the more efficient electronically commutated motor (ECM). ECMs average 40 to 50 percent greater energy efficiency than PSC motors.
Modulating gas valve — Conventional furnaces use a single-stage or two-stage gas valve, which provides little to no control over the flow of gas. A modulating gas valve gives the furnace the ability to control the flow of gas in very small increments. Better control improves the furnace’s energy efficiency and performance.
Combustion chamber — The sealed combustion chamber used in condensing gas furnaces improves efficiency and reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Secondary heat exchanger — A condensing furnace uses a secondary heat exchanger in addition to the standard primary heat exchanger. This additional component is what gives the furnace its efficiency edge. As water vapor is produced during the combustion process, the secondary heat exchanger condenses the vapor and recovers the heat it holds. Without this recovery process, that heat would be vented outdoors and wasted.
Before you decide to install a new furnace or make other energy-saving improvements, have an energy evaluation conducted on your home. To schedule an energy evaluation or to get professional guidance on furnaces and other efficient HVAC equipment, contact us at Aladdin Heating & Cooling. For more than 65 years, we’ve been keeping homeowners comfortable around Metro-Detroit, including Warren, Lake Orion, Utica and surrounding cities.
Our goal is to help educate our customers 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.
Aladdin Heating services Novi, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Oak Park, Ferndale, Beverly Hills, Berkley, Royal Oak, Birmingham, Bloomfield Twp., Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Madison Heights, Clawson, Sterling Heights, Warren, Troy, St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park, Detroit, Utica, Shelby Twp., Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Lake Orion, Oxford, and Clarkston.
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