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What Makes a Furnace High Efficiency?

The modern furnace makes better use of its fuel supply than the models of only a few decades ago. Many furnaces on today’s market carry the ENERGY STAR label from the U.S. EPA because of their efficient use of fuel and high return of heating power.

One type of furnace that goes above and beyond for energy savings is the high-efficiency condensing furnace. Where most furnaces can score AFUE ratings in the 80%–90% range, a high-efficiency model can climb as high as 98%—meaning only 2% of the natural gas goes to waste as exhaust.

Here’s an explanation for how these modern marvels achieve this. If you are interested in installation of a high-efficiency furnace in Pittsburgh, PA, talk to our specialists at Boehmer Heating & Cooling.

High-Efficiency Furnace Operation

The reason these furnaces waste so little energy is that they are capable of using the exhaust from the first part of the heating process to generate more heat. Here is how it works:

A standard furnace contains a single heat exchanger. High temperature combustion gas enters the chamber and heats up its walls. After air is blown around the exchanger and absorbs the heat, the cooled-down gas changes into a vapor. This vapor vents out the exhaust flue.

But a high-efficiency condensing furnace contains second heat exchanger. The exhaust vapor moves into this chamber, where it condenses into a liquid. The process of condensing causes a release of more heat, warming up the walls of the heat exchanger and providing additional warmth for the air that will be sent into the ventilation system. The liquid exhaust is then drained from the second heat exchanger.

The result of this is a reduction in energy waste. The more efficient performance means these furnaces will rapidly make up for their costlier installation with large savings off of heating bills.

High-Efficiency Furnace Repair and Maintenance

There is one drawback to high-efficiency furnaces which you need to know about: because they are more intricate machines that require a balance of many components, they require very attentive maintenance and repairs. All furnaces need regular maintenance and prompt repairs when necessary, but with a high-efficiency furnace you must take particular care of it or lose the benefits it provides.

Boehmer Heating & Cooling has maintenance plans that will make caring for your high-efficiency furnace in Pittsburgh, PA much simpler. Our 24-hour emergency service will also put you more at ease. Call us today for installation, maintenance, or repairs for your furnace.

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