High energy demands, unstable housing, and financial markets, and the constant threat of living costs rising even further, are parts of everyone’s lives these days, so all consumers should be eager to get a financial break wherever possible. Solutions to our financial problems could come in 90%+ Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE furnaces. The energy you save by using this furnace can easily offset one or two of your household bills, unlike the standard 60 to 880% AFUE furnace that is probably in your home right now, as you are reading this article. 90%+ AFUE furnaces designed with a 2-heat exchanger, which prevents heat wastage. The product was problematic when it was first developed during the 90s, but it has been improved to such an extent by most manufacturers that it is almost perfect. Today, it is an extremely reliable product. If properly sized and correctly installed, it can save consumers a significant amount of money on their utility bills that they can take advantage of every year. The 90%+ AFUE furnace operates efficiently, which is the key feature of its design, the two-heat exchanger. The main heat exchanger operates the ignition of the furnace and the gas fire (kerosene, propane, heating oil, or whatever else it is that the furnace burns) of the burners.
Once the burners are activated inside the heat exchanger, the heat exchanger heats up. When the furnace’s blower turns on, the air is forced over the hot heat exchanger, thereby allowing heat transfer to occur, which sends warm air through the air ducts and eventually heating the air throughout your home. That is all that is present for a heat exchanger with a standard 60 to 80% AFUE furnace, but this changed significantly, thanks to the brilliant engineering of furnace manufacturers. These individuals realized that hot moisture is always created by flue gases and then lost out of the flue pipe, so they created a better product to capture this free energy. Engineers then busied themselves with producing the two-heat exchanger furnace. They included a secondary heat exchanger resembling a coil to catch the hot flue gas moisture and reuse the heat in a more efficient appliance instead of simply escaping through the flue pipe. The basic ways a furnace operated remained the same for about 70 years, and now, there is a furnace on the market that is vastly improved and amazingly more efficient and effective. Engineers also realized that a furnace didn’t need to have high fire gas all the time, which resulted in two-stage technology emerging to heat homes effectively, according to the varying weather outside.
Two-Stage Gas Valve
The two-stage gas valve that emerged worked by causing a low fire to occur on temperate or less cold days in winter, thus saving an extra 25 to 35% on gas usage. Then, on those days when the weather is extremely cold outside, the furnace engages a high fire to make sure that it can keep up with heating your home only at those times when it is necessary. This resulted in the homeowner having the best of both worlds, namely staying comfortable and saving money. Standard furnaces do not have these features because they can only fire in one stage and waste flue gas moisture through the flue pipe. With a 90%+ AFUE furnace, the venting is typically done with piping made from PVC and is usually vented outside a home, unlike a standard furnace, the 90%+ AFUE furnace burns and exhausts significantly more cleaner gases, thus reducing emissions effectively too. In other words, by having a 90%+ AFUE furnace installed in your home, you are one of the many other people on the planet who are doing their bit to help save the environment.
Some contractors are reluctant to install a 90%+ furnace in homes, but this is due to lack of training and the inability to repair furnaces successfully in the first place. In the past, these contractors complained that the parts for a 90%+ AFUE furnace were pricier, and why would anyone be happy with an expensive repair bill. These complaints and arguments were legitimate and quite true at that time. However, these complaints came to an end when Rheem Manufacturing devised the new and improved design of the 95% AFUE 2-stage furnace. Although all the parts used in the Rheem 95% AFUE 2-stage furnace manufacture are of high quality, durable design, repairs to them after the warranty expires are cost-effective. This does not apply to the chipboards used by Trane and American Standard, or the Carrier induced draft motors and chipboards, both of which are expensive. Lennox parts for the 90%+ AFUE furnaces are also more expensive. In addition to this, Rheem realized that the most expensive part of the furnace was the primary heat exchanger, so they set about manufacturing a tougher, more durable primary heat exchanger than any other manufacturer of these parts could provide.
Primary Heat Exchanger
The primary heat exchanger made by Rheem is of a tubular design, made from stainless steel, and the part has almost no seam points. These are like the tailpipe of a car, that almost lasts a lifetime. With seam points eliminated, the lifespan of the part is increased significantly. On the other hand, Lennox, Trane, and American, and Carrier heat exchangers have a less expensive, clam design that is nowhere nearly as durable as the heat exchanger with the tubular design. Although the clamshell designed heat exchanger is made to last for a certain length of time, they fail prematurely, because of the 4 sides of crimped seams separating. The Rheem 90%+ AFUE furnace is not only more durable and made with less expensive parts in mind, but the company when even further and made sure that all their furnaces operate with a significantly lower range of decibels, which makes the Rheem furnace the quietest residential furnace on the market today. Although Trane, American Standard, Lennox, and Carrier furnaces will work if sized and installed properly, and last for many years, if they break at some point, the bill to repair them will be exceptionally expensive.
If you must call a contractor or HVAC company to give you an in-house quote to install your 95%+AFUE furnace, make sure that he evaluates the entire house. An estimator will be needed to do proper furnace sizing and evaluate the type of attic and wall insulation’s, window type, home exposure, outdoor landscape, slab type, duct sizing, fireplaces in the home, the number of occupants in the home, as well as several other factors. Be wary of an estimator that comes and goes within 30 minutes or less, because it takes way more time than this, to do a proper estimate, and this will have an enormous influence on the efficiency of your furnace, as well as your general indoor comfort for the future. Most estimates carried out by reputable heating and air conditioning companies usually require around 1 to 2 hours to collect all the necessary information, answer any questions you might have, and give you an up-front quotation for the work that needs to be done.