Gas furnaces are an extremely popular choice for energy efficient heating in Virginia. A natural gas furnace converts gas to heat through combustion. The furnace transfers this heat to a heat exchanger, and when the temperature reaches a set point, a blower is activated that circulates the warmed air through your ductwork. Furnaces require proper ventilation to exhaust waste and a supply of fresh air for combustion. High efficiency 90% furnaces have a by-product of water vapor. This water vapor returns to the furnace through the exhaust PVC and is then drained.
Gas furnaces are the most popular choice for the majority of modern homes with central heating and air conditioning. You can only use a gas furnace if you have a gas line hooked up to your home. If that is an option, heating with gas can be inexpensive compared to electricity- and gas furnaces provide a “warm” feeling heat compared to a more diffuse heating from a heat pump.
Like a heat pump, your furnace should be properly sized for your home, and utilizes ductwork to transport warmed air between rooms. Gas furnaces are installed inside your home in a utility space, closet or crawl.
While modern equipment has more safety features than ever before, you should still plan to have regular seasonal maintenance on your furnace-to clean burners and nozzles, check pressures and inspect blower parts and electrical connections. A carbon monoxide detector is also very important whenever you heat with any type of combustion.
Furnaces are rated by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio, which is the percent of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed. Like the miles per gallon rating on your automobile, the higher the AFUE rating, the lower your fuel costs.
All furnaces manufactured today must meet at least 80 percent AFUE. If your furnace is 10 to 15 years old, it very well may fall below the current furnace minimum and waste energy, so replacing it could save you money.
If you have questions about your furnace, give Guirkin a call. We’re happy to help!