Features & Benefits of purchasing a new Furnace
First off let’s discuss “efficiency”, now I am sure you are asking yourself what does efficiency even mean when it comes to heating my home? Well, let me tell you…
AFUE: Annual Fuel Efficiency Utilization
Here's the complicated, "technical" explanation of furnace efficiency…
- A 94% AFUE rating means a furnace will output 94 BTU's of heating for every 100 BTU's of natural gas input.
- An 80% AFUE rating means a furnace will output 80 BTU’s of heating for every 100 BTU’s of natural gas input.
AFUE: Annual Fuel Efficiency Utilization
Here is the straight-to-the-point explanation…
If you have an 85% efficient furnace:
- 85 cents of every $1 of natural gas you put into that furnace will go to heat your home, and 15 cents of that $1 of natural gas will go out the flue pipe and essentially be wasted.
If you have a 95% efficient furnace:
- 95 cents of every $1 of natural gas you put into that furnace will go to heat your home, and only 5 cents of that $1 of natural gas will go out the flue pipe and not get used.
This is how % AFUE (efficiency) ratings compare according to the Energy Star guide:
95% and higher
Now hopefully you better understand the word “efficiency”. Now let’s move on to our next topic! Condensing Furnaces and Non-Condensing Furnaces. What are the differences between them? What does the word Condensing even mean? Well, let’s find out.
Condensing Furnaces VS. Non-condensing Furnaces
The main difference between the two is … HEAT EXCHANGERS!
Have you ever looked at your gas bill and wonder what a “THERM” means & why am I getting billed this way? Well, let me give you a little explanation to this word: THERM.
1 THERM = 100,000btus of gas consumption
Which means if you have a furnace that is 100,000btus it will fire up and burn all of those btus.
100,000btus = running for 1hr straight = 1 THERM
50,000btus = running for 2hr straight = 1 THERM
A single stage furnace will run at full capacity every time. Which means it will burn the total amount of btus (100,000) every time and all the time. This is to heat 100%. 1 hour run time = 1 THERM used.
A 2-stage furnace will flux between 70,000 to 100,000btus which means the majority of the time your furnace will only run at 70,000btus which gives 30% less draw when it runs. This allows you to run your furnace longer before it hits that 1 THERM. 1 1/2 hour run time = 1 THERM used.
A modulating furnace will flux between 35,000 to 100,000btus which means the majority of the time your furnace will only run at 35,000btus which gives 65% less draw when it runs. This furnace allows you to run it even longer than the 2-stage before it hits that 1 THERM. 2 1/2 hour run time = 1 THERM used.
Did you know that there are 3 types of blower motors?! Let me tell you a little about each one...
First, we have our PSC motor or our “standard/typical” motor. This motor has a cool/heat function. It has “4” fan speeds but only 1 is chosen when it is installed. When the furnace fires up you instantly know because the motor kicks on abruptly and then all of a sudden, the noise stops and you know the motor kicked off (think of a light switch). This typical blower motor if ran all year around never stopped you would be paying about $350.00 a year in electric.
Second, we have our Constant torque blower motor. This motor is more efficient than the PSC motor. This motor has direct current which is either in the convertor in the motor itself or in the circuit board. This motor is not so noticeable when it kicks on and kicks off it ramps itself up and then slows itself down. If this motor ran non-stop all year long you would be paying about $125.00 a year in electric.
Third, we have our Variable speed motor. This motor is even more efficient than the constant torque motor. This motor has variable speeds, runs on direct current just like the constant torque. This motor allows for the heat to distribute in the home better, it is a very quiet motor and again slowly ramps up and then slowly ramps down in noticeability of it being on. This motor allows you to adjust the speeds properly for the home instead of having to guess which is correct. Even with all of that, this motor majority of time allows itself to be able to communicate with your thermostats. So, you know exactly what is going and when it happens! If this motor ran all of the time and never shut all year long you would be paying about $35.00 a year in electric!
Now that I probably just blew your mind about the 3 types of blower motors, let’s continue with thermostats!
Communicating VS. Non-communicating Thermostats
The main difference between the two is … acknowledging your system is actually running!