March 1, 2015

The Latest Improvements in Furnaces

The Latest Improvements in FurnacesFurnace technology has advanced significantly over the past two decades. Manufacturers continue to push the envelope of efficiency, comfort, and safety. Homeowners with an aging or obsolete central heating unit may want to consider the many benefits of owning a new, energy-efficient model.

Condensing Furnaces

Conventional furnaces employ a burner array and a single heat exchanger to complete the heating process. Warm air is blown into the living area, and waste gas is naturally exhausted through a venting system.

Condensing furnaces incorporate a second heat exchanger to maximize the efficiency of the burn cycle. Thermal energy usually lost after the initial combustion phase is recaptured by the additional heat exchanger. After the second heat extraction process is complete, the remaining flue gases are power ventilated through a PVC pipe system and exhausted outdoors.

In general, condensing technology is safer and more efficient than traditional heating methods. A sealed combustion chamber ensures that carbon monoxide and other noxious gases are vented directly to the outdoors with virtually no chance of internal leakage.

Multi-Stage Burner with Variable-Speed Blower

A traditional furnace is either completely off or running at full capacity. When the indoor heating load is light, single-stage operation wastes a tremendous amount of energy. A two-stage model offers high and low burner settings. The lower stage operates during mild weather, and the higher stage kicks in when the temperature approaches freezing.

Multi-stage furnaces provide the best comfort and efficiency since the burner and blower are constantly trimmed to precisely match varying indoor load conditions. The flame is adjusted on an incremental basis to reach the thermostat target temperature. A variable-speed blower will run longer fan cycles, which helps improve indoor air quality while saving energy.

A variable-speed blower combined with a multi-stage furnace will help reduce drafts, noise, and temperature fluctuations. Newer fans consume less electricity than a common 100W light bulb and are perfect for homes with passive central ventilators.

Ignition Systems

Unreliable standing pilot systems have been replaced by electronic ignition devices that provide superior reliability and safety. When the thermostat is engaged, a hot surface igniter uses a controlled resistance heating element that ignites the pilot or directly lights the burners. An intermittent pilot includes an electric spark generator that lights the pilot each time the thermostat calls for heat.

Modern Heating Innovations

Advanced heating appliances provide exceptional efficiency and comfort, as well as low noise when compared to models installed just a decade ago. For those living in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas, Prime Comfort HVAC is the only source you will need for complete furnace installation, repair, and maintenance services. Call today to speak with one of our friendly customer service professionals for help with deciding if it’s time to consider a new furnace.