How long have you had your current gas furnace? If it's more than 15 years, then it's probably time to replace it with a new unit. It's not only that an aging furnace is at a greater risk of a breakdown and safety hazards, but also that it's less energy efficient. As a furnace suffers wear and tear, its components must work harder, and as a result it costs more money to run the furnace.
There's another reason that a new furnace will work more efficiently: current heating technology has improved so that furnace convert more of their energy source into thermal energy. Where older furnaces would convert 60% to 80% of their fuel into heat, newer furnaces can sometimes convert up to 97%.
The reason furnaces are more efficient today
- Electronic ignition: The standing pilot light of the past has been replaced with electronic ignition systems. A pilot light drains fuel throughout the winter since it must remain lit at all times. Electronic ignition systems only draw on energy when it's necessary to light the burners.
- Sealed combustion chambers: The combustion chamber in a standard furnace is an atmospheric chamber, drawing air from the home. Sealed combustion chamber draw air from the outside of the home, and they allow much less heat to escape from them. Along with lowering heat loss, they're also safer.
- Second heat exchanger: In furnaces known as combustion furnaces, the combustion vapor from the first heat exchanger isn't exhausted out the flue, but instead sent to a second heat exchanger. It goes through condensation to extract even more heat from it.
- Multi-stage burners and variable-speed fans: Older furnaces could only operate at one capacity when they turned on, and so they always consumed the same amount of power. With multi-stage burners and variable-speed fans, furnaces can work at lower power capacities to adjust to a home's heating needs. This significantly cuts down on energy consumption.
Lifeline Plumbing, Heating & Cooling offers installation and replacement of heaters in Elgin, IL.