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IMPORTANT FURNACE TERMINOLOGY
Modulating Gas Furnace
Provides superior comfort over traditional single-stage and two-stage products as it reduces temperature swings in the home. It’s quiet, and it’s comfortable! A single furnace can produce from 70,000 BTUs to 135,000 BTUs depending on your home’s required heating load at that point in time; the gas valve will regulate the amount of fuel burned in varying increments. DO NOT get confused with other manufacturers selling a 3-stage furnace as a modulating furnace. These furnaces only have 3 different fuel settings; they are not true modulating furnaces. True modulating furnaces can have up to 100 different fuel settings. Modulating furnaces will have longer heating run times at lower fuel consumption. To help understand this concept, you have furnace A = 2-Stage Furnace and furnace B = Modulating Furnace. Furnace A will use 4 quarters to heat your house over X amount of time. Furnace B will use 100 pennies to heat your house over a longer period of time. Both furnaces use the same amount of fuel but furnace B, the Modulating Furnace, provides more even comfort over a longer period of time versus bursts of heat over a shorter amount of time.
What does the efficiency percentage mean (95.0%, 92.5%, or 80.0%)?
In simple terms, the percentage rating is related to gas usage. The higher the percentage, the more heat (BTUHs) your furnace saves for heating your home. A furnace that is 80.0% will send 20.0% of the heat to the outside. Likewise, a 95.0% furnace will only send 5% of the heat outside. The less heat you send outside, the more money you save.
Why should I consider a variable (EMC) speed motor?
Your furnace motor is one of the largest electrical wattage-consuming appliances in your home. We recommend the ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) since it is a super high-efficiency programmable DC motor. At constant fan speed, the ECM consumes 60-80 watts compared to 400 watts for the induction motor. If someone is spending $.09 and higher on kilowatts, these are huge savings for our customers that run their blower on constant fan speed. Since the furnace motor is used both in the summer and winter months, if there was ever a way to achieve considerable savings on energy-efficient appliances, variable speed is the way to go.
What part of the furnace is unique to the manufacturer?
Generally speaking, a furnace is a box of assembled components purchased from other manufacturers. It is common for most furnace manufacturers to purchase components such as blower motors, transformers, inducers, and pressure switches, etc., versus making these components themselves. Thus, the major difference is the design of the Heat Exchanger and their parts warranty.