When it comes to getting a new gas furnace these days, the list of possible features can be overwhelming. A homeowner who buys a furnace without looking into the details might end up spending more money than necessary, due to buying more features than needed or to buying equipment to perform tasks that could’ve been included in the furnace.
Some furnace features might be more than you need, and some can give you extensive climate control of your home with your furnace installation. So what features can a new furnace offer you, and what are their benefits?
Some furnaces can double as air filtration systems, sifting dust particles from the fraction of your air that enters its vents. Asthma sufferers and those with other chronic respiratory conditions may find their symptoms reduced with a thorough duct cleaning and high-quality air filter, but there have been few studies run on air filters to verify that claim. Air filtration might help reduce some airborne triggers for allergies, but more tests are needed to determine air filters’ effectiveness on that score.
Too-high humidity can make you miserable. Not only can it leave you uncomfortable and feeling far warmer than you should, but it can make moisture build up in your home, causing rot and attracting pests. Moisture also encourages the growth of mould, mildew, and mites, so limiting the humidity in the air can help some allergy sufferers. A gas furnace with a built-in dehumidifier provides all the benefits of dehumidification without you needing to buy an extra piece of equipment.
Dual Heat Exchanger
The heat exchanger is the part of your furnace that transfers the heat from your fuel to your house. A dual heat exchanger is essentially two heat exchangers working together, with the secondary heat exchanger pulling heat that the primary heat exchanger missed. This feature lets you get the most out of your burned fuel.
The more efficient the furnace, the less fuel it’ll use for producing heat, and the less it’ll cost on your utility bill. The AFUE (Annual Fuel Usage Efficiency) percentage on a furnace says what percent of fuel is converted into heat. That means a low-end modern furnace with 80% AFUE converts 80% of the used fuel into heat, and the other 20% goes into running the furnace. New gas furnaces can reach over 95% AFUE. High-efficiency furnaces can be eligible for tax credits.
Just as too much moisture in the air causes problems, so does too little. The dryness can cause irritation to the skin, nose, throat, and lungs. Sinusitis, itchiness, and breathing difficulty can result. Low humidity may also damage your paint, furniture, and floors, while making your home feel colder than it actually is. (This is generally an add-on to the furnace system, not a part of the furnace itself.)
The ignition system of a furnace starts the “spark” that produces the heat. The old ignition method was a constantly-burning “pilot light” ready to ignite the burners upon command. New furnaces now use different ignitors that don’t burn constantly, so they don’t use as much energy. The standard silicone carbide igniters last about 3-7 years, while the more expensive nitride hot surface ignitors last longer, some even to the point of having lifetime warranties.
A “smart” thermostat has a variety of functions to maximize efficiency. Such thermostats are always digital and can have different temperature settings for different days, letting you avoid having the furnace running full-tilt when you aren’t home. Some thermostats allow you to regulate your home’s humidity (which is recommended to be kept at 40-50%). Some can even tie into your other utilities like a heat pump, to automatically switch each unit on and off when the temperature warrants it, without leaving two of them on at the same time.
Variable Heat Output
Some furnaces only have two settings: full-blast and off. New furnaces have options. Some are two-stage gas furnaces, making the furnace able to run on high or low, to use less fuel on days that don’t need much heat. Other furnaces are “multi-stage” or “modulating”, with gas valves. These ones function more like a gas stove or grill, meaning “on” only produces as much heat as needed, saving energy — which means money saved on your utility bill.
After your furnace produces the heat, it still needs to be pushed through the house. Like old furnaces themselves, old blowers have two settings: full-tilt and off. A variable-speed blower can blow more gently (and quietly) when little heat is needed, which helps avoid temperature fluctuations in your home. Variable-speed blowers also tend to need less maintenance than other blowers, because they aren’t constantly switching on and off, which results in less wear on the unit.
Furnace warranties can range from limited 1-year warranties to lifetime warranties. Warranties are available specifically on the heat exchanger, on manufacturer parts, on manufacturer labour, and on contractor parts. The best warranty for you may depend on how much money you’re willing to spend up front, and on how heavily you use your furnace. If you already know that you’re prone to a specific type of furnace failure with your local climate, you can angle to get a warranty specifically for that problem.
Homes can be divided into “zones” with different heating and cooling requirements. Furnaces with zoned heating can be set to keep different sections of the house at different temperatures. In general, the larger the home, the more useful zoning becomes. Zoning also comes in handy, for example, if some of your rooms are more susceptible to temperature fluctuations due to windows, or if you have a library or music room that needs reduced humidity.
Altogether, not everyone needs all the latest, greatest features on their new gas furnace. But knowing the features and their benefits can help you decide what you need, making it easier to shop for a new furnace.
Furnace and Efficiencies
Standard furnaces operate like your car in stop-and-go traffic. Fuel efficiency goes down and you’re less comfortable. Older furnaces (15 years or older ) have a difference of temperature swing of 1 to 2 degrees. Which means could be up to 4 degrees from the cold to the hot. Please read more about how the variable gas valve and the a.c motor delivers a more efficient comfort level, and more economical. Not the very best furnace price get a load calculation to ensure proper equipment size for ease of operations.
Today’s furnaces have much higher efficiency ratings than in the past. Particularly if your furnace was made before the 1990s, you should think about upgrading, as you probably aren’t getting the most heat for your dollar. Most furnaces installed before this time have efficiencies of 60-70% (a continuously burning pilot light will reduce this number by another 6%).
When shopping for furnaces, you want to consider the unit’s Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating.
The AFUE indicates how well a furnace converts energy into usable heat.
The rating is expressed as a percentage of the annual output of heat (output rating in BTUs) to the annual energy input to the furnace (also measured in BTUs). BTU= raising one gallon of water 1 degree.
read more about Ruud Gas Furnaces
|AFUE ratings can be classified as follows:* Low efficiency: below 71%
* Mid efficiency: 71 – 83%
* High efficiency: above 90%A high efficiency furnace with a rating of 97% burns around 50 gigajoules of energy a year to heat a typical home in BC.To compare, an old furnace with a rating of 60% would burn over 80 gigajoules a year to heat that same home. High-efficiency systems use around 25% less natural gas than standard systems. This mean you could be spending 25% more than you have to keeping your home warm with a dated system.BC is not be allowed to install 80% mid efficiency furnaces unless in combination with a heat pump.
Why your New Ruud Furnace is more Efficient
New furnaces use so much less gas than dated models because they lack a pilot light, (using hot-surface ignition) which uses up to 6% of you annual bill. As well this system closes off the chimney when the burners are off (prevents heat loss), and because they use heat exchangers with more surface area (creating more heat exchange). The stack temperature of your flue is 400 degree’s, this energy is recovered. Unlike conventional forced air furnaces, condensing units capture most of the water vapor and heat contained in the hot flue gases that normally escape up the chimney. The escaping gases pass through a second heat exchanger providing that heat for your home as well, then the condensate is expelled at 70 degree’s. Not to mention the Ruud’s variable gas valve (AHR innovation award) will deliver a greater level of comfort and efficiency with smaller increments of distribution for heating demand.
The Classic 90 Plus High Efficiency Modulating Upflow Gas Furnace is the first to combine a modulating gas valve with a variable-speed blower. The blower has an ICM2+ (integrated control module) motor, which is more electrically efficient than that of a multi-speed blower. The furnace’s gas valve operates between 40% and 100% of total capacity, in 5% increments, continuously regulating the amount of fuel burned according to the thermostat setting. The thermostat and its remote temperature sensors provide feedback for the control board, which uses “fuzzy logic” to vary valve and blower settings.
Heating mode starts with the gas at 100% and the fan at 0%, the valve reducing and the blower increasing until maximum efficiency is reached. The fan then runs continuously, ramping up or down depending upon air delivery requirements. Since the fan and burner almost never run at full capacity, and energy-robbing on/off cycling is eliminated, the unit is highly fuel-efficient.
The constant modulation allows consistency — Rheem claims room temperatures to be within a half degree of the thermostat setting — and quieter operation. The constant fan operation results in increased circulation and potentially improved indoor air quality. Because the home’s air is constantly being mixed, temperature averaging could eliminate the need for multiple zones in some cases. Its self-diagnostics should make servicing easier.Being more efficient, newer systems minimize the amount of energy you consume and reduce your carbon footprint. But you must make sure a qualified professional calculates the size of system you require (heat load calculation). Having a system that is not the right fit for your home will result in excessive cycling and inefficiency.Because the blower and valve in the modulating furnace are rarely running at full capacity, lifetime is also extended.
High-efficiency furnaces also save energy by utilizing electronically commutated motors (ECM) to power the air circulation fan; ECMs consume less electricity than single speed motors.
A furnace’s fan motor is one of the largest consumers of electricity in the household. New units have variable speed DC motors, which cut the consumed electricity in half. If you run the fan continuously, a variable speed DC motor eats up just over $40 of electricity in a year; much less than the $185 of electricity consumption with standard motors. If the fan is only run while heating then it will consume around $30 a year; $55 with standard motors.
High-efficiency furnaces prevent range hoods and exhaust fans from affecting the quality of the air inside your home.They draw in combustion air from outside of your home so that you don’t lose any of the heated air indoors. Natural gas, forced-air, systems deliver fresh, warm, air throughout your home. This is a major advantage compared to the electric baseboard heating systems, which do not ventilate the air at all. For further information please read our air quality page.
Consumers Digest Best Buys
Prestigious and Highly Valued Consumer Awards Further Validate Company’s Commitment to High-Quality Products, Technical Innovation and Value 0.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Feb. 7, 2007 – (Exhibit W143) Rheem Manufacturing Company, Heating & Cooling Division today announced it received prestigious Consumers Digest BEST BUY awards for two products from the company’s full line of dependable home comfort product family. These product awards continue the legacy of consumer and HVAC industry recognition for the company’s high-quality, technologically advanced and value-driven Rheem and Ruud heating and cooling products.
90 Plus Modulating Gas Furnace with Contour Comfort Control. The award-winning products are the Rheem Prestige Series® and Ruud Ultra Series® 90 Plus Modulating Gas Furnace with Contour Comfort Control™ (model GFD), and the Rheem Classic Series® and Ruud Achiever Series® 14-SEER heat pump (model PPB). A BEST BUY is defined as a product offering the most value for a given amount of money and must be a better value than directly competitive models. On average, a Consumers Digest BEST BUY rating is awarded to fewer than three percent of the competing models in any given product category. “Consumers Digest has built a reputation over the last 45 years as a trusted information resource to homeowners across North America for their most important product purchasing decisions,” said Ed Raniszeski, Rheem director, market development and communications. “Our company has been fortunate to receive more design and innovation awards than any other since 2003. These two BEST BUY ratings provide additional credible and unbiased evidence that Ruud and Rheem products are satisfying homeowner value expectations by consistently delivering high quality performance and dependability for every consumer dollar invested in our home comfort products.”
Consumers Digest editors who judged the products noted that the Rheem Classic Series RPPB and Ruud Achiever Series UPPB heat pump is …”an exceptional heat pump for the price.” Additionally, they commented, “A unique modulating function allows this furnace to operate at between 40 percent and 100 percent capacity depending on a home’s heating needs.” In addition, the Consumers Digest recognition for the -GFD model 90 Plus Modulating Gas Furnace follows on the heels of the 2003 Comfortech Showcase Award for outstanding product innovation in heating equipment and the 2004 AHR Heating Product Innovation Award. In 2005, survey results from another nationally recognized consumer-reporting publication revealed that the Rheem and Ruud brand heating products are among the most trouble-free in the industry. To be eligible for Consumers Digest BEST BUY consideration, products must be available nationally, have a national service organization/dealer network to support service needs, and should be made by a manufacturer of established reputation.
Fittings Within industry, piping is a system of pipes used to convey fluids (liquids and gases) from one location to another. The engineering discipline of piping design studies the efficient transport of fluid.
Industrial process piping (and accompanying in-line components) can be manufactured from wood, fiberglass, glass,steel, aluminum, plastic, copper, and concrete. The in-line components, known as fittings, valves, and other devices, typically sense and control the pressure, flow rate and temperature of the transmitted fluid, and usually are included in the field of Piping Design (or Piping Engineering). Piping systems are documented in piping and instrumentation diagrams(P&IDs). If necessary, pipes can be cleaned by the tube cleaning process.
“Piping” sometimes refers to Piping Design or the performance of the actual layout of the physical piping within a process plant or commercial building. In earlier days, this was sometimes called Drafting, Technical drawing, Engineering Drawing, and Design but is commonly performed by Designers who have learned to used automated computer aided drawing/computer aided design (CAD) software.
Gas Fitters follow complete diagrams to match existing codes and building regulations.
Not just your Furnace installers gas fitters are your HVAC technicians.