Condensing Furnaces Promote Better Use Of Energy
by Greg Leisgang on January 22, 2013
Posted in: Furnaces
If you're looking for an energy-efficient furnace for your greater Cincinnati home, look no further than a high-efficiency condensing furnace.
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE, of a furnace tells how much of the energy from fuel is turned into heat, and how much is lost through venting. Furnaces older than 20 years could have an AFUE of 65 percent, meaning that 35 percent of the fuel's energy is sent outdoors. The minimum allowable AFUE on a new furnace is presently 78 percent, but a condensing furnace can have an AFUE over 98 percent.
What makes a condensing furnace different?
The heat exchanger in a furnace is a metal box of sorts, around which air flows to gain heat. Unlike a conventional furnace, which has only one heat exchanger, condensing systems have a primary and a secondary heat exchanger. The first heat exchanger heats the air and sends exhaust gases through the secondary heat exchanger, which uses them to generate more heat for the home. The exhaust then cools considerably by the time it gets through the secondary heat exchanger, and turns into water and carbon dioxide, draining from the furnace. The flue exhaust is relatively cool and can be vented through a PVC pipe rather than a chimney. In a non-condensing furnace, the exhaust gases are lost.
The benefits of a condensing furnaceare singular and significant: lower energy bills. As a result, the system will quickly pay for itself in savings. In addition, it'll generate fewer greenhouse gases.
Before buying and installing
Consider a professional home energy audit to determine how efficient your home is. A high-efficiency furnace won't save you as much money if it's operating in a home with air leaks, insufficient insulation or inadequate ductwork.
For more expert advice about condensing furnaces, or to find out about scheduling a home energy audit, please feel free to contact us at JonLe Heating & Cooling. We've served Butler County and Greater Cincinnati with a high level of customer satisfaction since 1959.
Image via Shutterstock.com