All you need to know about high efficiency furnaces.

With winter fast approaching, many of us have had experience the rude awakening of ice cold floors on unsuspecting feet. So what do we do when our toes are frozen? Fire up the furnace!

Our furnaces keep us cozy when the weather outside is chilly, so it is time to pay some respect to this much needed appliance.

Speaking of furnaces, high efficiency furnaces have become all the rage nowadays. What is a high efficiency furnace you might ask? What makes a furnace highly efficient?

In order to understand that, it is important to know how any furnace works in the first place.

Your average furnace is made up of five components:

Combustion chamber: A combustion chamber is the enclosed space inside your furnace where fuel (gas if you have a gas furnace) and any residual exhaust fumes are burned.

Burners: Burners are what combines the fuel and air to create heat.

Heat exchanger: The heat exchanger consists of metal tubes or coils inside your furnace that are heated up by the warmth generated by the burners. They remain hot as long as the furnace is on and running.

Blower: Is a type of fan that blows and circulates the heat around your home.

Flue: Just like a flue in a chimney, the flue in a furnace ventilates any harmful fumes outside and away from your home.

High efficiency furnaces contain all these components and more. While average furnaces only have an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating of about 78%, high efficiency furnaces must have a rating of 90% or more.

AFUE ratings are measured by how well the furnace converts fuel into heat, and how much is just burnt up and used without generating any product.)

So how does a high efficiency furnace meet this standard?

First off, high efficiency furnaces feature a second combustion chamber. The second chamber collects any gas fume runoff that would usually just escape out of the flue, condenses it into a liquid and repeats the burning process to generate heat.

Secondly, a second set of heat exchanger coils or tubes are added to take pressure of the first heat exchanger – this ensures the two exchangers run evenly with less energy, while creating more heat.

So while high-efficiency furnaces may be more expensive initially, they actually save the consumer money in the long run by reducing the amount of power needed to run, and the greater amount of heat it produces. They are definitely an appliance to seriously consider before our infamous Canadian winter weather reaches the minus thirties and forties.

Now you know how an average and a high efficiency furnace works. This is how our beloved heating appliances keep our little piggy’s toasty and warm at home during the fall and winter months!