Modern furnaces come with multiple bells and whistles. Many of these new features are useful, but some are more useful than others. Below are some of the useful features to consider.
Variable Speed Blowers
The blower is the part of the furnace that gets the heated air circulating in the house; it 'blows' the air. There are three main types of blowers for furnaces. Single-stage blowers are either on or off; that is, they either blow air or don't. Multispeed blowers can be off, on and at low heat, or on and at high heat.
Variable speed blowers are even better than multispeed blowers. These blowers don't have distinct stages for blowing heat; rather, they allow a continuous setting that allows precise heating control. In addition, these blowers circulate air even when the furnace is off and not actively heating the house. As a result, variable speed blowers enhance comfort and encourage energy efficiency.
The pilot light provides the flame or heat that ignites the fuel that combusts to produce heat. Traditional furnaces have pilot lights that have to stay on at all times. This increases the amount of fuel effectively used to heat your home.
Many modern furnaces come with electronic or electric ignition systems. These systems use electricity to trigger electrical sparks that ignite the furnace fuel. The electronic ignition system only produces the spark when active heating is needed, and it shuts off immediately the burners are lit. This means electronic ignition systems are more energy-efficient than conventional pilot lights.
Dual Heat Exchanger
The heat exchanger is the part of the furnace that actually heats the air that circulates in your house to keep you warm. Traditional furnaces have single heat exchangers, but some modern furnaces have two heat exchangers.
The combustion process in furnaces produces hot exhaust gases. These gases are vented outside, which means some heat is lost with the exhaust gases. In a dual heat exchanger system, the second heat exchanger draws more heat from the exhaust gases. In the end, the double-heat exchange setup helps to make such furnaces more energy-efficient than furnaces with single heat exchangers.
Conventional furnaces strive to deliver similar heating to all parts of the house. This is sometimes inefficient and inadequate since different parts of the house or even different household members may have different heating needs. For example, rooms with more windows and doors may require more heating than enclosed rooms.
Furnaces with zoning systems use multiple thermostats, a series of dampers, and a controller to deliver different heating to different parts (zones of the house). This may allow you to improve comfort and energy usage. For example, you don't have to heat the kitchen and the bedroom at the same level.
For more information on heating systems, contact an HVAC contractor.