Let’s see how gas furnaces compare to electric furnaces, which we have already written about in our previous post (continuing our buyers’ guide for new furnaces).
How do gas furnaces work?
Gas furnaces are also forced air systems, like electric furnaces. The system is set in motion when the thermostat sends the furnace a low-voltage signal that the temperature has dropped below the preset desired level. This prompts the gas to be delivered to the burner in the combustion chamber. Cold air is pulled from cold air returns situated on the floor, walls or ceiling of a room. It is filtered, and then taken through the metal chamber with the heat exchanger in it. The combustion creates heat in the heat exchanger, which heats the air moving around it. When the air is warmed, it’s pushed into the warm air plenum, and then warm air supply ducts thereof. The combustion gases are vented via flue through the roof or the wall.
What makes gas furnaces the most popular choice in the U.S.?
When home and business owners have gas mains running to their location, they generally prefer gas furnaces to other type of furnaces for a host of reasons.
The gas is supplied directly to the furnace through piping. With this constant supply, there’s no need to think whether you should top up the furnace, like with wood or coal. You are also relieved from having to stock up on the fuel.
For a fossil fuel, gas burns quite clean. The exhaust gases which are released are mostly vapor and a small amount of carbon dioxide.
Gas furnaces are easy to maintain.
What is gas furnace maintenance like?
Apart from doing a regular monthly check-up and maintenance yourself, it would be best to schedule a regular professional maintenance by heating repair Escondido experts (we also serve the rest of San Diego metro area cities). Professionals will perform inspection and ensure reliability of all system components. If anything’s worn down or broken, they’ll be able to fix it and prevent much more costly repairs.
What you can do yourself is visually inspect the furnace and replace the filters once a month or more often in the heating season. Clean air filters mean clean and healthy air for your family. When the furnace is on, look for signs of soot around. Check whether the flame is burning blue in the burner. If there are traces of yellow or orange, that means that there is something else besides the gas that is burning. Of course, this issue is something that calls for a professional. As far as cleaning goes, make sure the furnace is turned OFF. Either turn it off at the switch or the circuit breaker. You can vacuum the interior and wipe down anything that can’t be vacuumed.
Are gas furnaces energy-efficient?
Energy efficiency in furnaces is measured by AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Gas furnaces range from 55% (obsolete technology) to 98.2% AFUE. Since 2015, the standard has been 80 – 83% AFUE. Anything above 90% AFUE is labelled as energy-efficient and approved by Energy Star.
Action AC is Premier Dealer for Lennox, which produces currently the most energy-efficient gas furnace with AFUE of 98.2%. If you are interested in finding out more about this fantastic product, give us a call!
Energy Star rated furnaces are single- or two-stage, or modulating. They have a variable-speed blower, electronic ignition and two heat exchangers. The main one is used to condition the air, whereas the other condenses flue gases. These furnaces also have sealed combustion chambers.
If energy efficiency is what you are after, read up more on the subject in our posts about air leaks and duct sealing.
Want to talk more? Call heating repair Escondido experts!
Action AC is your trusted HVAC contractor when you need anything related to heating installation, service or heating repair Escondido or anywhere else in San Diego. Based in San Marcos, Action AC has been delivering top notch HVAC services to San Diego communities since 1975. Our growing customer base, steady referral business, excellent reviews and multiple industry-relevant awards testify to our commitment to customers. Call us today and tell us what you need when it comes to heating!