Written by Brad Crawford
Despite the promise of lower energy bills and improved heating, replacing the furnace in your Dallas-Fort Worth home is probably not something you’re looking forward to. The wide variety of furnace models available can make it seem like you’ll need to wade through pages of technical jargon to find a reliable, energy-efficient model. In reality, though, there are just a few specific, easily understood features you’ll want to look for:
- Efficient ignition systems – Because continuous pilot lights waste fuel, highly efficient furnaces use intermittent, direct spark or hot-surface ignition instead.
- Sealed combustion – This feature lets the furnace draw outside air into the burner for combustion. Unless your furnace has this feature, it will use warm indoor air for combustion and then exhaust that air outside, wasting energy. Sealed combustion furnaces also greatly reduce the risk of dangerous combustion gases entering your home.
- Condensing heat exchanger – Heat exchangers draw out heat produced when fuel is burned. A single primary heat exchanger isn’t able to draw out all available heat, so highly efficient furnaces have two heat exchangers. The secondary heat exchanger processes exhaust gases from the primary heat exchanger to draw out heat that otherwise would be wasted. When replacing the furnace, look for a “condensing furnace.”
- Variable-speed blower motor – Single-speed blower motors operate only at one speed regardless of how much heat you need. Most of the time, variable-speed motors run more slowly and continuously. This saves energy, reduces drafts, and produces more consistent temperatures.
- Variable heat output – A furnace with a variable-speed blower motor may also offer the option of varying the heat output between two or more levels. The lets the furnace deliver heat more consistently than would fixed heat output.
Keep in mind, too, that highly efficient furnaces have an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating of at least 90 percent and ideally 97 percent or higher.
For more expert guidance on replacing the furnace or upgrading other HVAC equipment in your home, get in touch with us at Crawford Services, Inc. We provide friendly, trustworthy HVAC services in the Dallas-Forth Worth area and around North Texas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in North Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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