Everyone knows that furnaces heat buildings, but few realize that they are also needed to cool buildings well. That is why it is especially important to understand what a furnace consists of, and how these parts work together to meet your heating and cooling needs. Gilley’s thinks its smarter to evaluate your building’s needs by using the ‘Whole House’ approach. One of Gilley’s ‘Whole House’ Experts will be glad to help you determine which furnace is right for you.
Furnaces use natural gas or propane burners to heat your building. These burners occupy the top half of the furnace. The bottom half is the blower which distributes heated or cooled air throughout your building. When considering installing a new or replacing your existing furnace, the burner capacity, blower capacity, and energy efficiency are the three most important items to be considered.
The industry standard for determining the burner capacity needed for the Monroe-West Monroe climate is to maintain an inside temperature of 70 degrees, when the outside temperature is 20 degrees. Your preference may vary. Furnace burners do this by adding the necessary amount of heat (BTUs) into your building’s air. Burner capacity ranges from approximately 45,000 BTUs per hour to 110,000 BTUs per hour.
Unfortunately, burner capacities for our climate are usually much larger than needed because manufacturers offer limited choices of the blower sizes needed to match the airflow requirements of your A/C unit. An equally important consideration is how much energy your system requires to heat and distribute air throughout your building. The furnace burners’ heating efficiency has an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating, which ranges between 80% and 98%. Blower efficiency is determined by the watts used per amount of air delivered.
There are two basic blower motors. A standard blower motor and a high efficiency blower motor. A high efficiency blower motor uses approximately 50% less energy than a standard blower motor. Gilley’s will present you with a range of system options so you can make an informed decision. In addition, there may be incentives to help you achieve a high efficiency standard.
You should be aware of the several furnace upgrades available. Some of the more important ones include:
• Upgrades to two, three, and variable stage burner technology • Noise suppression technology • ECM blower technology • Zoning