If you are interested in investing in high performing condensing furnaces or boiler heating systems, go for it because today’s technology has led to major breakthroughs that have allowed manufacturers to design unique systems with near-perfect performance ratings. Below is a description of how the furnace works and why it is worth considering.
A standard furnace utilizes a heat exchanger in heat generation. However, much of the heat is usually lost in the process of combustion. This wasted heat rises up the chimney and disappears into the environment. On the other hand, a condensing unit has a second heat exchanger which captures any heat which would have otherwise gone to waste and puts it into good use thus achieving a maximum operating efficiency. Through the secondary exchanger, the unit allows exhaust gases to cool and transfers the resulting latent heat back indoors for heating.
According to the Department of Energy, condensing model come at a higher price than non-condensing models. However, the latter can save you a lot of money in fuel costs during their lifespan which is about 15 to 30 years.
Higher AFUE Rating
Furnaces which are designed as condensing systems are able to attain higher Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) which is simply a metric that captures the efficiency of the furnace in converting fuel to energy by doing a projection of the average thermal efficiency for a whole heating season.
Without a condensing unit, it is almost impossible for your furnace to reach 90% AFUE. There are furnaces which attain up to 98.5% AFUE which means they only allow for 1.5% energy loss.
Condensing Units Require Drainage
As seen above, condensing furnaces and boilers give you unique advantages such as safety, energy savings, and flexible installation. However, they also require special consideration in draining the excess moisture generated by the system. Because of the second heat exchanger, gases cool and the vapor they generate brings along with it extra moisture. Therefore, condensing units require an elaborate and secure drainage system so as to route the moisture out of the system safely.
Safety in Operation
Condensing heaters have sealed combustion chambers and this means they only outside air for combustion. This in turn eliminates any possibility for your home to be exposed to hazardous combustion gases released during the heat generation process. As a result, no backdrafting will occur in your home and this is an important safety measure.
Since the condensing furnace unit cools down the combustion gases, you don’t need a venting system designed for extreme heat factors. Instead the venting system can employ standard PVC pipes to help in directing the exhaust through a wall vent.
Just as it is with every furnace replacement, consumers must exercise care when looking at the best type to invest in. Be sure to enlist the help of a HVAC professional. They will assist you in sizing the system thus ensuring an efficiently running system that keeps your home comfortable throughout winter.