We live in an age where every year brings innovation to what we have come to take as ordinary. With the development of new technology comes the opportunity to increase efficiency and find new approaches to our everyday routines. The same can be said in the wonderful world of HVAC.
Every year, improvements are being made that can increase the comfort of your Hoover, Alabama home, but with everything changing so much and so fast, it’s vital to be informed of all the new innovations. Here are a few recent innovations in furnace technology that you can have installed to increase the efficiency of your HVAC system.
What makes a condensing furnace different from your standard furnace? A conventional furnace has only a single heat exchanger. This is the thing that transfers heat from the burners to the air that’s circulating throughout the furnace and acts as a barrier between the powerful combustion gases and the air that will be circulated into your home. In a condensing furnace, a second heat exchanger is added.
What does this do for you? The second heat exchanger helps you get every possible unit of heat energy (BTU) out of your unit. It’s called a condensing furnace because the heat extracted from the exhaust gases causes condensation to form (which is usually disposed of in a condensate drain).
A condensing furnace has an AFUE rating (a type of efficiency rating) of at least 89% and up to 98%. This means that you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck, about as much efficiency as you can possibly get out of an HVAC system.
Modulating Gas Furnaces
The next innovation on our list is the modulating gas furnace, named because of the modulating gas valve it uses. How does this differ from a standard gas furnace? Most of the time, your furnace is running at 100% capacity, which may not be necessary 100% of the time. This can cause you to waste a lot money, energy, and could even cause your system to short cycle when it’s mild weather and you really don’t need the furnace going at full blast.
How does a modulating valve fix the problem? The modulating valve automatically adjusts to the optimum amount of airflow needed to provide you with just the right amount of heat. The valve adjusts in 1% increments. This allows it to adapt to any kind of condition, which in turn makes it possible to avoid using more energy than necessary to heat your home.
Not only does the valve adjust for comfort, but in the event of a technical issue (a blocked flue, for example), the valve will simply reduce airflow, continuing to provide you with comfort instead of shutting down the entire system.
What does this mean for you? With the ability to dial the airflow down to the only necessary amount, your furnace becomes a more efficient machine, saving you money in energy and utility costs that a conventional heating system would burn through.
Many conventional HVAC systems use a single-speed blower, which will turn on when your system thinks your home is either too hot or too cold. The fan blasts out air at a single high speed, no matter what the load, to control the temperature.
What makes a variable-speed blower different? This fan, rather than blasting the furnace with a single speed, will blow at any speed necessary to control the temperature while still maintaining efficiency. Single-speed blowers inevitably waste energy, but variable-speed blowers only use the amount of energy necessary for that specific load. As a result, not only will you get the level of comfort you’re looking for, but you’ll also save even more on your energy bill.
With these innovations in the HVAC world, efficiency is the name of the game. Today, HVAC systems are designed specifically to give you the best comfort for the best price. Gone are the days of wasted energy and wasted money. If you have more questions about condensing furnaces, modulating gas valves, variable-speed blowers, or other HVAC innovations, or if you’d like these upgrades installed by a professional technician, feel free to make an appointment online or call us at (205) 509-1929.
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