Most people take their heating system for granted during the Winter. Their house is warm, they keep an eye on fuel levels if they don’t have Automatic Delivery, and they don’t think twice about how’s it’s working – until it’s not!
During a prolonged cold snap is when most people realize they may have a system that just isn’t performing as well as it should. It might be struggling to keep the house warm, it’s running longer than usual, and it’s burning more fuel than it should.
If you haven’t upgraded your furnace recently, say in the last 10 years, you probably have a standard furnace in your home. It works by either blowing heated air through ducts, or by circulating hot water through radiators or tubes in your floor if you have radiant heat. Furnaces are powered by heating oil, natural gas, propane, or even electricity. If you have a forced air system, air is drawn into the furnace and through a heat exchanger – a metal chamber heated by burning fuel (or electricity). The heated air is then blown through ductwork and out of vents either in the floor or ceiling throughout the home. With a forced hot water system water is heated in a boiler and circulated through radiators (baseboards, metal radiators, or tubes in your floor) located throughout the home.
With your traditional furnace, some heat that is created can be lost in the atmosphere through chimneys or vents. While it’s hard to determine the exact number, it’s estimated that up to 30% of your heat can be lost to the atmosphere. However modern, high-efficiency systems can greatly reduce that energy loss.
High-efficiency furnaces are known as condensing furnaces. They are designed to reclaim much of the escaping heat by cooling exhaust gases below 140 degrees. Why 140 degrees? That’s the temperature at which water vapor condenses into water. The water can then be recaptured and recirculated through the heat exchanger. It’s considered to be 95% efficient, a huge improvement over a traditional furnace.
Not only will you lose less heat from your home, but high-efficiency furnaces burn less fuel to keep your home at the same comfort level you are used to. As an added bonus, they are usually smaller and quieter than their former versions.
If you are thinking about upgrading your home heating system give Baribault Fuel a call today. We offer some of the best brands available and top-notch installation!