How much of your furnace's energy is going out your flue?
ESCALATING ENERGY BILLS
Ever escalating energy bills, diminishment of natural resources and a responsible concern for the environment has focused attention on home energy efficiency. We all want to spend less, pollute less, and use less energy without sacrificing our comfort. Without an energy-efficient furnace, good air duct containment (minimal leakage) and a clean furnace and air ducts it is likely that 30% or more of the energy required to operate your furnace is going our your ducts or flue.
In recent years, major furnace manufacturers have redesigned their furnaces to make them more energy efficient. There are over 40,000 heating devices in the market today. Which furnace is right for your home?
There is a reason Diamond Certified, an independent third party rating company classifies us as “one of the best heating and cooling contractors in the Bay Area to do business with.” Their words – not ours – are confirmed by their annual surveys of many of our customers. We have over 50 years of experience taking care of tens of thousands of Bay Area customers. If our customers are happy, we are happy.
HOW A CENTRAL FORCED-AIR HEATING SYSTEM WORKS
Most Bay Area homes use centrally located forced-air heating systems.
In a forced-air heating system, air moves to a hot-air plenum heat exchanger (a metal chamber where the air is heated) by fueled burners. A motorized fan blows the heated air to individual room vents through distribution air ducts. Air ducts are typically located under floors, in attics or behind walls.
Combustion gases are vented out of the house into the atmosphere through a flue.
Cooled room air is then returned back to the furnace’s heat exchanger through dedicated return-air ducts. The air is then reheated by the furnace’s burners and cycled again until a thermostat’s programmed temperature is reached at which time the burner’s fuel valves close and the furnace blower shuts down.
Older style gravity furnaces typically located in basements provide central heating but they do not force the air. They allow heated air to rise naturally into rooms through air ducts.
Furnaces can be fueled by natural gas (most common in Bay Area homes), oil, propane, coal, wood, electricity & other combustible materials.
One of the benefits of a forced-air system is that an air-conditioning unit, a humidifier, a de-humidifier, a specialty air filter, etc. can all be added to it and share the same air ducts used by the furnace.
HOW FURNACE EFFICIENCY IS RATED
The measurement used for determining a furnace’s efficiency is an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. Most new furnaces come with a posted rating from the manufacturer, generally in the form of a yellow “Energy Guide” label attached to the unit. AFUE ratings for new furnaces generally range from 78% to 96.7% for Carrier’s SXC model.
Though many manufacturers label their furnaces as “high efficiency,” the DOE sometimes refers to units with an AFUE higher than 90% as “high efficiency” and lower units as “mid efficiency.” The difference between a furnace rating and 100% for a properly installed new furnace is the furnace’s energy loss that goes out the flue. A considerable amount of energy is also lost through leaky air ducts.
PURCHASING A NEW FURNACE
Call us today for a FREE survey of your premises and our recommendation as to what we consider to be your best options for a new furnace. There is no obligation to purchase but you will learn what equipment we recommend and what we believe you should avoid like the plague.
AIR DUCTS – LEAK DETECTION & SEALING
See our “Air Ducts – Diagnose – Repair – Replace” web page to learn more about our state of the art computerized leak detection & sealing program.
Carrier Gas Furnaces
Smooth comfort with the most advanced technology
Carrier is the largest manufacturer and distributor of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the world. They are a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation.
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