Condensing furnaces remedy a long-standing drawback of older gas-fired furnaces. Here’s a hint: A standard gas furnace utilizes an exhaust vent pipe made of heavy, heat-resistant metal while the exhaust vent for a condensing furnace is plastic and stays cool to the touch. In conventional gas heating, a significant amount of heat energy produced by the burner goes up the exhaust stack instead of being utilized to heat your home. That’s why gas furnaces have traditionally been limited to a maximum AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating of just 84 percent. Condensing furnaces offer AFUE ratings above 90 percent with some as high as 98.
The secret lies in the condensation process. It’s a fact of physics that as hot combustion gases cool, water vapor condensing to liquid releases trapped heat. This heat can be recovered and utilized to warm your home instead of exhausted up the vent along with some of the money you’re spending for heating expenses.
Here’s how the technology in condensing furnaces works to warm your home more efficiently:
- A conventional furnace draws air for the combustion process directly from inside the home and exhausts combustion gases produced by the burner directly out the exhaust vent. A single heat exchanger transfers the heat energy from the burner flame to airflow in the furnace plenum.
- A condensing furnace incorporates a sealed combustion chamber and draws combustion air from outdoors through a dedicated intake pipe. Instead of being immediately exhausted, hot combustion gases are diverted to a circuit to cool and condense to water, releasing surplus heat.
- A secondary heat exchanger captures heat released by the condensation process and transfers it to the airflow, providing more heat energy gain than a conventional furnace from the same amount of natural gas consumed.
- Cooled combustion gases are exhausted to the exterior of the home through a PVC pipe. Condensation produced by the process is conveyed through a line connected to the home sewer drain.
Serving Monmouth County and surrounding areas, Aggressive Mechanical Contractors is your source for energy-efficient heating and cooling technology like condensing furnaces. Contact us for more information today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about condensing furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.