An efficient gas furnace often called a “condensing” furnace is often the simplest and lowest cost way to heat your home if you have existing natural gas service. It can also be the biggest part of your energy bill in the winter. One of the simplest ways to reduce your home energy use is to replace your furnace. If your home was built in the late 80’s or early 90’s and you haven’t replaced your furnace yet, chances are this is the first upgrade to make. Not only will it reduce your energy bills, but also substantially reduce the risk of combustion safety issues (learn more here). New furnaces are also more reliable that old furnaces, meaning that you are far less likely to end up with no heat on a cold January morning.
We have replaced dozens of furnaces in the Missoula area and can often replace an existing furnace with a high efficiency, sealed combustion furnace in a simple one-day project. Read on to learn more about why this is such an important upgrade for your home.
Condensing Means Efficient
Any appliance that uses natural gas creates exhaust fumes that must be removed from the living space of a building. Hot air rises, so traditional furnaces typically rely on “waste heat” to carry the exhaust gases up the flue. This is called “induced draft” and it means that your furnace is wasting energy- usually about 20% of the energy you pay for on the gas bill goes straight up the chimney! Some models also use a small fan to propel the gases up the flues, but these units are still a substantial portion of the energy they use. High efficiency furnaces waste so little heat that their exhaust gases aren’t warm enough to rise naturally. This means that they need a sealed flue system with a trap for water that condenses out of the exhaust gas (remember that water is a byproduct of burning natural gas). These systems waste far less energy, and seal flue gases away from the living environment. You can tell if you already have a condensing furnace if you see two- 2″ PVC pipes sticking out of your furnace.
We offer comprehensive HVAC design and installation services for new construction projects including equipment sizing, load calculation, and design for multi-zone systems, as well as expert replacement service. We also provide consulting advice if you are uncomfortable in your existing home, or have a furnace that sounds like a jet engine. Call us to learn more about how we can help you make your home or office more comfortable and energy efficient.