The Anatomy Of Savings: Conventional Vs. Condensing Furnaces

When you face the need to install or replace a furnace, you have two main choices: a conventional furnace or a condensing furnace. Of the two, a conventional furnace will be the cheapest to install, but a condensing furnace will save you money over the long run. To understand how a condensing furnace will save you money, you need to look at how its design differs from that of a conventional furnace. 

Conventional Furnace

All furnaces will look basically the same from the outside, so to really understand what you are paying for you have to look at what is on the inside. A modern conventional furnace will have an electronic ignition system rather than the pilot light that you will find on older models. This is an improvement, but the conventional furnace will still only have one heat exchanger. What does that mean? 

A heat exchanger channels the superheated exhaust gases produced by burning a fuel toward the flue. It also heats the air flowing into your home in this way: as the gases flow through the exchanger, the exchanger absorbs heat from the gases. Your furnace blower then forces air over the outside of the exchanger, and the air absorbs heat from it. This is a good system, but furnace designers still have to worry about how to vent the potentially dangerous gases from your home. In a conventional furnace, the solution is to leave enough heat in the gases that they rise out of your home through the flue pipe. Unfortunately, this means that the heat in the gases is wasted and your standard or conventional furnace will never be more than 83% efficient. 

Condensing Furnace

A condensing furnace will have a second heat exchanger, which allows your furnace to extract so much heat from the exhaust gases that they condense back to a liquid. This waste fluid then escapes your furnace through a drain tube. The beauty of this design is that it allows you to reach efficiency levels of up to 98%. 

When you buy a conventional furnace, you spend 15% more on your yearly heating costs than you have to. A condensing furnace will come at a higher cost than a conventional furnace, but because a condensing furnace will help you to keep your heating costs lower, it will allow you to save more money in the long run.  Don't leave yourself exposed to that kind of waste; buy the most efficient furnace you can afford. For more information about furnaces, visit Comfy Cave Heating and Air.