If you have an old gas furnace that is between 15 and 20 years old or if your energy bills have been increasing for the last few years, then it is time to look into a replacement. This is also true if you have been paying a lot for repairs lately or if you have noticed that heat in your home is inconsistent. If you have not looked at furnaces or their features in some time, then you may not know a whole lot about the different options that are available to you. The good news is that a lot of newer gas furnaces are made with efficiency in mind. Keep reading to learn about some features that should be included on your new furnace.
Almost all older gas furnaces are constructed with a pilot light. This is the flame that remains lit at all times, and it is called a standing pilot light. The flame is a continually burning one that ignites the main burner of the heating system. The pilot light remains consistent and burns off a small amount of gas that runs through the pipe attached to the light.
When natural gas flows through the burner, the flame ignites the gas. While the pilot light only uses a small amount of fuel, it is inefficient. Gas is burned by the light, whether the furnace needs to turn on or not. This is inefficient.
When you purchase a new furnace, look for one that does not use a traditional pilot light. A furnace with an electric ignition is far more efficient. There are several different types of devices that are available. If you want a system with a traditional pilot flame, then look for a unit that has an electric ignition. The igniter creates a spark that lights the pilot light, and the pilot then ignites the burner. Once the system no longer calls for heat, the pilot light is extinguished.
If you do not want a heater with a pilot light, then you can find one that has an electric ignition that works to light the main burner. This type of system will have an ignition that is made from a long wire encased in ceramic. Electricity runs through the wire to heat it up. Once the wire becomes red hot, it starts the burner.
Electric ignition devices are not only more efficient, but they are also safer. Some older furnaces do not have proper safety controls that shut off the gas to your appliance when the pilot light goes out. This can be dangerous, and an electric ignition completely reduces this concern.
Two-stage Gas Valves And Extra Heat Exchanger
If you want the most efficient gas furnace, then you should look for heaters that come equipped with two-stage gas valves and a second combustion chamber. Two-stage gas valves allow your furnace to heat up quickly when it first starts. The valves allow more gas to flow through the burners so the unit can create a substantial amount of heat. The blower in the unit also works harder to transport the heated air through your home.
Once your house starts to heat up, the valves release less gas, and the blower slows down. This type of system allows you to experience more equal heat throughout the home while also enjoying an economical heating system.
Efficient two-stage valve systems often come equipped with an extra heat exchanger. The first heat exchanger works like a traditional gas furnace. Fuel is burned, and exhaust gases move through a long metal tube. The air that comes into contact with the tube or pipe is heated, and a blower forces the warm air into your house. Once this happens, the exhaust moves through a chimney and up and out of your home.
Exhaust is still warm when it exits your house. This means that you lose heat with a traditional system. An efficient gas furnace extracts this heat and warms more air with the assistance of a second heat exchanger. Cool air and condensation waste are then created. The water is collected and transported through your plumbing system, and the cool air is vented outside.
Contact a furnace installation professional for more information.