Furnaces 101

How Gas and Oil Furnaces in Chesapeake, VA Are More Efficient Today

October 28, 2021

As the cooler months approach, homeowners in Chesapeake, VA, usually prep their furnaces for the temperature shift. With an average temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and winds reaching up to 8 mph, a well-prepared furnace becomes an important appliance to regulate your temperature indoors. If you’re looking to replace your furnace, whether due to age or repair, read on: You’ll learn more about gas and oil furnaces to make an informed decision.

Gas and Oil Furnace Efficiency

Today’s lineup of gas and oil furnaces is relatively more efficient than their older counterparts. Based on AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency ratings , modern oil furnaces clock in at about 80% to 90% efficiency, while gas furnaces can reach up to 98% efficiency. With proper use and regular maintenance, these types of furnaces can bring in at least 20% savings compared to conventional furnaces.

Furnace Features

To achieve this high level of heating efficiency, modern gas-based furnaces have sealed combustion chambers, ancillary heat exchangers, variable speed blowers, and more. Today’s gas models also come with upgraded filtration and direct spark ignition systems, all of which are intended to give higher heat output while limiting fuel waste. Let’s dive deeper into what these design features do for your heating system.

  • Sealed combustion chamber: The combustion chamber limits the amount of heat that leaks to the outside. As the name implies, the combustion chamber is separate from the house and sucks in air through a plastic PVC line that links it to the outside so it doesn’t affect the air inside your home.
  • Heat exchangers: Having a secondary heat exchanger allows gas and oil furnaces to transfer heat more efficiently from the combustion process to the air passing through it. It also keeps toxic gases isolated from the hot air.
  • Variable speed blowers: Variable speed motors are 80% to 85% more efficient than conventional motors. By being able to adjust its speed, you can control how much power your furnace uses while running when you use a variable speed mower. By controlling your system with more precision, you’ll use less energy overheating your home.

Modern furnaces also excel not only in lowering waste output, but they also decrease the amount of waste generated from the whole energy-producing process in general. Some systems marketed as highly efficient, such as electricity-based furnaces, do minimize fuel waste but are highly inefficient when factoring in the amount of coal burned to produce the fuel. Natural gas and oil, on the other hand, produce lower carbon footprints over time, so they come in as a cleaner solution.

Advantages of Gas and Oil Furnaces

As we mentioned earlier, gas furnaces are more efficient compared to older heating systems, including wood and pellet stoves and boilers. But furnaces are also widely popular for residential and commercial use due to their lower cost.

Maintenance is another category where high-efficiency furnaces excel. It’s easier to perform regular preventive maintenance on them, though tune-ups are more extensive due to debris and soot accumulation. Ductwork should be regularly cleaned and the oil filters replaced at least every six months; some you can take care of on your own, but for others, you’ll want to call in a professional.

High-efficiency furnaces also improve your home’s airflow. Thanks to your furnace’s variable-speed motors, hot air circulates uniformly throughout the house. The filtration system, meanwhile, traps a variety of dirt and air particulates, allowing you to breathe cleaner air.

Gas and Oil Furnace Installation Services

Installing a gas or oil furnace can be a smart solution for your home this fall. To ensure that you are getting the most up-to-date information and technology, It’s important to call in a professional to have your new furnace installed. Call us at Climatemakers of VA, and let us help whether you want to learn more or to schedule a furnace assessment and installation appointment.

Image provided by iStock

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