Why Condensing Furnaces Deserve A Second Look

If the heating costs in your Denver area home seem high, it may be time to look into a more efficient heating option. While there are many different types of heating systems on the market today, a natural gas fueled condensing furnace is one of the most efficient. Blending new technology with highly efficient components and a relatively cheap fuel source, condensing furnaces have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of at least 90 percent. By contrast, conventional furnaces older than 10 years likely have an AFUE of less than 70 percent. AFUE is a clear indication of fuel efficiency, with the percentage representing how much fuel actually gets converted into heat for your home.

Condensing furnaces have several features that make them so highly efficient:

  • The modulating gas valve in a condensing furnace regulates the flow of fuel to the system from 40 to 100 percent capacity, depending on your home’s heating needs. When less heat is needed, such as during warm spells, the valve will send a thinner ration of gas to the system, conserving fuel and lowering your gas bill without sacrificing your comfort.
  • Conventional furnaces feature one heat exchanger. After heating the air for your home, the exhaust is vented outside. Condensing furnaces feature a secondary heat exchanger that recovers this exhaust and uses it to heat more air. Two heat exchangers mean more air is heated with less fuel, which lowers the unit’s carbon footprint as well as your utility bills.
  • Condensing furnaces come equipped with a variable-speed blower motor. The blower on a conventional furnace is either on or it’s off, regardless of how much heat your home actually needs. The variable speed blower modulates with the real-time heating needs of your home. During warmer spells, the blower runs at a slower, but more continuous pace, providing more even heat distribution and better air filtration.
  • Conventional furnaces use household air for the combustion process. The sealed combustion chamber in a condensing furnace has the air intake coming from outside. This closed system greatly reduces the chances of dangerous carbon monoxide leaks, making condensing furnaces a safer, as well as more efficient, heating option.

For more expert advice about condensing furnaces, please contact us at Coffman and Companies online or by phone at 303-366-1112. We serve the greater Denver area with a satisfaction guarantee.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Denver, Colorado area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about condensing furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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    J. Patrick Quinlan J. Patrick Quinlan is a Colorado registered Professional Engineer with a BS in Civil Engineering... More »