Furnaces are an effective way to heat a home or business, beating the chill of winter and creating a more comfortable work and living environment. Furnaces are a more modern way to heat, avoiding the danger of an open fire or the smoke and soot of burning coal. Gas furnaces are often used today, as are electrical furnaces, and this article will explore the benefits of choosing gas.
The basic concept of a furnace is that it burns fuel to generate heat. Furnaces began with the earliest forms of fuel that were common, wood and coal, but those required someone to be on hand to constantly replace the fuel as it burned up and to remove the ashes, creating a messy job. In the mid 1900s, gas became the more common fuel to burn in a furnace. Electrical furnaces came into being a few decades late, but gas furnaces are still the single most popular way to heat a home.
Through many years of trial and error, furnaces have become more efficient in their energy usage. It used to be that a furnace would burn the fuel and the heat was not directed anywhere in particular, so it would produce heat in the house, but much of the heat would escape out of the chimney. Modern gas furnaces circulate the air more effectively, only allowing 10-20 percent of the hot air to escape, leaving the majority to warm up the intended area. An exhaust pipe is used to make sure that harmful gases are expelled while harmless, treated air circulates through the home to provide heat.
As the modern world becomes more in tune to what nature needs and people are more cautious about energy efficiency, a gas furnace is a great way to start burning less and using less electricity but still effectively heating a home. All furnaces are rated based on their annual fuel-utilization efficiency, also known as the AFUE. In the United States of America, new furnaces are required to operate at 78 percent of fuel utilization efficiency at the least. Most are in the 80 percent range, but the best, most efficient furnaces can even get up to a 97 percent AFUE rating. That means that the exhaust escaping only lets out a minimum of three percent of the heat produced by the furnace. Those highly efficient furnaces are known as condensing furnaces, which means that a second heat exchanger goes a step beyond the initial heat exchanger to retain the heat that is liable to escape out the chimney flue with the exhaust fumes. Efficient furnaces not only help to protect the environment and conserve resources, they also help to lower costs for heating a home or business.
When someone buys a furnace, they usually have it installed by the same company from which it is bought. With this, a customer can know that the installation will be done properly and professionally and it will most likely be under warranty if any problems should arise. A certified HVAC, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, contractor will be able to give an estimate on how much installation will cost.
Replacing old gas furnaces is recommended, because in the early 1970s, the 78 percent AFUE regulation was not in effect. Many furnaces only had a 65 percent AFUE rating. If you have an old furnace working in your home, it may be worth the time to consider replacing it soon. The cost to buy and install a new furnace may seem out of range, but when compared to the lower energy costs with a more efficient furnace, it is well worth the switch.