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Residential Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

The Secrets of High-Efficiency Furnaces: How They Use Less Energy


You may need to have your older furnace replaced before the worst cold of the winter arrives. If so, then we advise you to consider making an upgrade from a mid-efficiency furnace to a high-efficiency model. Current high-efficiency furnaces can have AFUE ratings of 95%, a significant improvement over standard furnaces. 

High-efficiency furnaces do come with a bigger initial price tag, but if you work with experts who understand heating installation in Plymouth, MN, you’ll end up with a furnace that will deliver energy savings and pay back its upfront costs several times over.

If you’re curious about what makes high-efficiency furnaces capable of using so much less energy than conventional models, we’re glad to enlighten you…

Condensing Technology

You’ll often hear high-efficiency furnaces referred to as condensing furnaces. What exactly does that mean? It’s a type of technology that is at the core of how these furnaces save money: essentially, the furnace can “squeeze” more heat from the combustion gases.

The gases first enter a standard heat exchanger, where they transfer their heat to the air pushed around the exchanger. But rather than allow the remaining exhaust gases to escape out a flue, in a condensing furnace, the exhaust goes to a second heat exchanger where the gases are condensed into a liquid to draw out even more heat. The furnace loses far less heat to exhaust, maximizing efficiency and reducing energy consumption.

Variable-Speed Blowers and Burners

The standard furnace has an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to the blower fan and the burners: they’re either on or they’re off. High-efficiency furnaces use modulation technology so they can adjust their heat output and blower speed based on the real-time heating needs of your home.

The furnace won’t need to run at maximum power all the time. Not only does this mean less energy is used, but it also optimizes airflow to create a more consistent and comfortable indoor temperature.

Sealed Combustion

A mid-efficiency furnace draws the air necessary for combustion to occur from the space around the furnace. The combustion chamber in a high-efficiency furnace isn’t exposed to the indoor air: it’s sealed and pulls the air it needs for combustion from outside through a PVC tube.

This helps with safety (less risk of indoor air contamination) and it also improves energy efficiency because no heat is allowed to escape from the combustion chamber. 

Improved Insulation and Airflow Design

Efficiency isn’t just what happens within the furnace itself. High-efficiency models also have better insulation and airflow designs to ensure that the heat generated gets distributed evenly throughout your home. This maximizes comfort while it minimizes the workload placed on your furnace.

Programmable Thermostats and Smart Controls

High-efficiency furnaces come equipped with programmable thermostats and smart controls, allowing homeowners to exercise more precise control over their heating preferences. This level of control ensures that energy is used only when and where it’s needed. You can cut back on unnecessary heating use—and you won’t even have to do any extra work adjusting the thermostat.

Rely on Residential Heating and Air Conditioning and you’ll “Feel the Difference”! Serving The Twin Cities Since 1991.

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