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Furnace Replacement Choice: The Condensing Furnace

money-home-teeter-totterYou may be looking to get a new furnace installed when the weather finally turns warm and you won’t need any heating for the house. Spring is definitely a good time to arrange for furnace service in Colorado Springs, CO to replace an old one. You can take the time to look through the options and work with our technicians to find the best new system to meet your needs.

One option you may wish to consider is the condensing furnace, a type of high-efficiency gas furnace that’s become a popular choice for new installations. 

How a Condensing Furnace Works

The name condensing furnace can confuse people, who associate condensing as something that happens with the refrigerant in an air conditioner. However, you’ll understand the reason behind the name when we explain how one of these furnaces operates.

A condensing furnace resembles a mid-efficiency furnace in most ways: an electronic igniter lights gas burners, which then create hot combustion gases that gather inside a heat exchanger. The walls of the heat exchanger turn hot, and the blower fan sends air around the heat exchanger to pick up heat from it before heading into the ductwork. 

The big difference between the two is that a condensing furnace has a second heat exchanger. In the standard furnace, once the heating cycle is finished, the combustion gas vapor left over in the heat exchanger vents out of the furnace (and the house) through a flue. In a condensing furnace, this vapor moves to the second exchanger. The vapor is condensed in this exchanger, a process that causes even more heat to be released and raise the temperature of the walls of the exchanger. This adds additional heat to the air and makes the maximum use of natural gas energy.

Condensing Furnace Efficiency

How much more efficient are condensing furnaces than standard furnaces? It depends on how old a furnace model you compare a new condensing furnace to. If you have a furnace that is more than 15 years old, it may have an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating of around 80–85%, which means about 15–20% of the fuel is lost to exhaust. A condensing furnace can have an AFUE rating of 97%, losing only 3% of its energy source to exhaust. That’s a significant change, and it can mean a drop in how much you pay monthly to heat your house. 

Making the Choice

A high efficiency rating is not a guarantee of savings, and because a condensing furnace is more expensive to purchase upfront than a mid-efficiency furnace, it isn’t necessarily the right choice for all homeowners when upgrading heating equipment. However, if a condensing furnace is right for your home, it will not take it long to pay back its installation cost in energy savings. 

The best way to ensure that a condensing furnace is perfect for your home is to work with our professionals. We’ll steer you toward the heating systems that will do the job your home needs while also cutting down on energy consumption. 

Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning serves Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. Talk to us today about heating system replacement options. 

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