We have been meditating on improving your residences energy efficiency, inlcuding new windows and new roofs. If you live in a colder environment one of the most important things to do is improve your heat source. We will talk about solar, electric, and geothermal heat sources in the coming days. First up is natural gas. I wish there was a date on this particular piece. Maybe if the writer of this sees the linkage he could supply the date. I am not sure this is the latest in natural gas technology, but considering the ages of much of the heating systems out there this would be a huge step up.
New Condensing Gas Furnaces
The invention of the condensing gas furnace couldn’t have come at a better time for American homeowners, gas users who have been watching the natural gas prices rise to heights that were once thought impossible. And any relief in the prices will only be short-lived because of the volatility of the fossil-fuel market.
In the colder areas of the country gas and oil are staples to provide heat for the home. In an effort to get relief from the fossil fuel crunch many homeowners are looking to various alternative methods like off-peak electric and solar hot water heat. However, these systems have very expensive start-up costs and, even with state and federal rebates, the costs can be double that of a gas-run furnace. The idea of a condensing gas furnace is to wring every last BTU of heat out of a unit of burnt gas.
Natural Gas Prices Are Sinking Gas Furnaces
Older gas furnaces waste a lot of energy. They are basically a metal box with a burner and blower apparatus The thermostat tells the furnace control that the house is cooling off and the burner is ignited. When the temperature inside the furnace header pipe, or plenum, reaches a certain point, the blower fan starts up and hot air is blown through the air ducts and into the rooms of the home.
The system works seems to work very efficiently but in actuality the reverse is true. Studies have shown that most of the gas furnaces over a ten years-old can only convert 55% of the natural gas burned into heat comfort for the home. The standard for measuring this efficiency is the AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.
Condensing Gas Furnaces Are Breaking the Ice
As the natural gas prices go up it doesn’t mean that gas cannot be an economical way to heat the home. New technologies in all parts of the gas furnace have upped the efficiency of the units to an AFUE mark of 97 as compared to 55 for the old furnaces. These modern inventions include dual heat exchanging systems, more efficient gas valves, redesigned fan blowers and electronic motor technology. The new condensing gas furnaces combine all these new innovations into one energy-efficient package.
The Parts of the Condensing Gas Furnace
A traditional gas furnace heats a home by the combustion of the gas under a heat exchanging plate. The more heat that can be transferred to the heat exchanger is less heat that is allowed to go up the chimney. The ability to squeeze 25% to 45% more heat from a unit of gas than the old-style furnaces makes the condensing gas furnace a more energy-efficient source of heat production.
Good there and read. More Wednesday.
(Tomorrow I take my computer in for work)