Friday, December 21, 2012

Condensing Gas Furnaces


Condensing Gas Furnaces


Condensing gas furnaces are the highest efficiency furnaces presently on the market. If you are building a new home or replacing the old furnace in your present house these high efficiency natural gas furnaces are your wisest choice. They are simply the best  furnace to use in all homes with natural gas heating.

The reason for choosing a condensing gas furnace is mainly because of  the extremely high AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilisation Efficiency) which runs  from 90 to as much as 97 percent (in some cases a little higher). Old furnaces made in past decades will be found to have AFUEs of 60 percent or even less and medium efficiency  gas furnaces made at present have AFUEs of 78 to 84 percent.

It is easy to see that a high efficiency natural gas furnace will consume as much as 20% less fuel in normal operation. This results in a substantial saving in fuel costs which over a relatively short period of time will pay for the somewhat higher initial price of the more efficient furnace. On average a medium efficiency gas furnace costs about $1000 less than a high efficiency model.

Modern condensing gas furnaces use, approximately 33 to 40 percent less fuel than old furnaces and 10 to 20 percent less than medium efficiency units made at present. This not only reduces fuel bills substantially but as a bonus also cuts down drastically on  toxic environmental emissions which are thought to be at least partially responsible for environmental pollution and climate change.

The somewhat higher cost of purchasing a new condensing gas furnace will easily be recovered, in a relatively short period of time, through fuel savings.The savings will then go directly into the pocket of the consumer throughout the life of the appliance. An average homeowner with an old model furnace might save $300 a year, or even more, by installing a 97% efficiency condensing gas furnace.

Condensing gas furnaces are made in a variety of sizes to suit any type of home. They new furnace can usually be placed in the same spot as the old furnace it is replacing, and will typically use the same heat  duct-work. All furnaces must of course be installed by licensed gas installation technicians. It is very unwise to have an unlicensed do it your-selfer install your furnace. In many places it is illegal to do so, and could also result in your insurance company refusing to pay claims if there is a fire. For more information about condensing gas furnaces click here


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue To Climb

                                               File:CO2 responsibility 1950-2000.svg

It is essential for all countries to reduce their greenhouse gas production in order to prevent the disastrous effects of global warming and climate change. Unfortunately greenhouse gas emissions continue their upward climb annually and agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol have had little effect on this continuing increase. Use of high efficiency gas furnaces and elimination of coal burning power plants would greatly reduce greenhouse gas production. Here are figures for the top greenhouse gas emitters as listed by Wikipedia: 

List of countries by 2010 emissions estimates

CDIAC released preliminary 2010 estimates for a limited number of countries. Following table is listing annual CO2 emissions estimates (in thousands of CO2 metric tonnes) from these estimates for top emitting countries.
Country CO2 emissions[14] Area (in km2) Population Emission / km2 Emission / Person
 World 33,508,901 148,940,000 6,852,472,823 2,250 49
 China 8,240,958 9,640,821 1,339,724,852 8,548 62
 United States 5,492,170 9,826,675 312,793,000 5,589 176
 India  2,069,738 3,287,263 1,210,193,422 6,296 17
 Russia   1,688,688 17,075,400 142,946,800 989 118
 Japan   1,138,432 377,944 128,056,026 30,122 89
 Germany    762,543 357,021 81,799,600 21,358 93
 Iran 574,667 1,648,195 75,330,000 3,487 76
 South Korea 563,126 100,210 48,875,000 56,195 115
 Canada 518,475 9,984,670 34,685,000 519 149
 Saudi Arabia 493,726 2,149,690 27,136,977 2,297 182
 United Kingdom 493,158 243,610 62,262,000 20,244 79
 Indonesia 476,557 1,919,440 237,424,363 2,483 20
 Mexico 466,131 1,972,550 112,322,757 2,363 41
 South Africa 451,839 1,221,037 50,586,757 3,700 89
 Brazil 419 537 8,514,877 190,732,694 493 22
 Italy 407 924 301,338 60,681,514 13,537 67
 Australia 365 513 7,617,930 22,794,166 480 160
 France 362 556 674,843 65,821,885 5,372 55
 Poland 309 985 312,685 38,186,860 9,914 81

 The above list is reproduced from Wikipedia

The major offenders are China and The USA which between them produce more than two thirds of the world greenhouse gas emissions.Unfortunately neither of these countries has entered into any agreement to reduce such emissions. Until China and the USA are prepared to reduce significantly their production of greenhouse gases any efforts by other nations will have very limited effect.
For more information about high efficiency furnaces check out gas furnace prices

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Why Is A High Efficiency Furnace Important?


High efficiency furnaces convert more than 90% of the fuel burnt in them into actual heat for the home. This means that these furnaces will burn 35% to 50% less fuel than older furnaces of 60% or lower efficiency. Obviously the fuel bill for these furnaces is much lower than for the old low efficiency furnaces. Not only that but the high efficiency furnace reduces greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere by up to 50% also. This is extremely important since these gases are believed to be responsible at least in part for climate change and global warming. The USA is at present the worlds second highest contributor (just behind China) to greenhouse gas emissions. Here is some data from  Wikipedia  on the subject.
Since about 1750 human activity has increased the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Measured atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are currently 100 ppm higher than pre-industrial levels.[40] Natural sources of carbon dioxide are more than 20 times greater than sources due to human activity,[41] but over periods longer than a few years natural sources are closely balanced by natural sinks, mainly photosynthesis of carbon compounds by plants and marine plankton. As a result of this balance, the atmospheric mole fraction of carbon dioxide remained between 260 and 280 parts per million for the 10,000 years between the end of the last glacial maximum and the start of the industrial era.[42]
It is likely that anthropogenic warming, such as that due to elevated greenhouse gas levels, has had a discernible influence on many physical and biological systems. Warming is projected to affect various issues such as freshwater resources, industry, food and health.[43]
The main sources of greenhouse gases due to human activity are:
burning of fossil fuels and deforestation leading to higher carbon dioxide concentrations in the air. Land use change (mainly deforestation in the tropics) account for up to one third of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions.[42]
livestock enteric fermentation and manure management,[44] paddy rice farming, land use and wetland changes, pipeline losses, and covered vented landfill emissions leading to higher methane atmospheric concentrations. Many of the newer style fully vented septic systems that enhance and target the fermentation process also are sources of atmospheric methane.
use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in refrigeration systems, and use of CFCs and halons in fire suppression systems and manufacturing processes.
agricultural activities, including the use of fertilizers, that lead to higher nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations.
The seven sources of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion are (with percentage contributions for 2000–2004):[45]

Seven main fossil fuel
combustion sources Contribution(%)

Liquid fuels (e.g., gasoline, fuel oil) 36 %
Solid fuels (e.g., coal) 35 %
Gaseous fuels (e.g., natural gas) 20 %
Cement production 3 %
Flaring gas industrially and at wells < 1 %
Non-fuel hydrocarbons < 1 %
"International bunker fuels" of transport
not included in national inventories 4 %
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks the major greenhouse gas contributing end-user sectors in the following order: industrial, transportation, residential, commercial and agricultural.[46] Major sources of an individual's greenhouse gas include home heating and cooling, electricity consumption, and transportation. Corresponding conservation measures are improving home building insulation, installing geothermal heat pumps and compact fluorescent lamps, and choosing energy-efficient vehicles.
Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and three groups of fluorinated gases (sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs) are the major greenhouse gases and the subject of the Kyoto Protocol, which came into force in 2005.[47]
Although CFCs are greenhouse gases, they are regulated by the Montreal Protocol, which was motivated by CFCs' contribution to ozone depletion rather than by their contribution to global warming. Note that ozone depletion has only a minor role in greenhouse warming though the two processes often are confused in the media.
On December 7, 2009, the US Environmental Protection Agency released its final findings on greenhouse gases, declaring that "greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people". The finding applied to the same "six key well-mixed greenhouse gases" named in the Kyoto Protocol: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.[48][49]

Top emitters
In 2005, the world's top-20 emitters comprised 80% of total GHG emissions (PBL, 2010. See notes for the following table).[78] Tabulated below are the top-5 emitters for the year 2005 (MNP, 2007).[79] The second column is the country's or region's share of the global total of annual emissions. The third column is the country's or region's average annual per capita emissions, in tonnes of GHG per head of population:

Top-5 emitters for the year 2005

Country or region % of global total
annual emissions Tonnes of GHG
per capita

China (b) 17 %  5.8
United States (a) 16 % 24.1
European Union-27 (a) 11 % 10.6
Indonesia (c)  6 % 12.9
India  5 %  2.1
Table footnotes:
These values are for the GHG emissions from fossil fuel use and cement production. Calculations are for carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and gases containing fluorine (the F-gases HFCs, PFCs and SF6).
These estimates are subject to large uncertainties regarding CO2 emissions from deforestation; and the per country emissions of other GHGs (e.g., methane). There are also other large uncertainties which mean that small differences between countries are not significant. CO2 emissions from the decay of remaining biomass after biomass burning/deforestation are not included.
a Industrialised countries: official country data reported to UNFCCC.
b Excluding underground fires.
c Including an estimate of 2000 million tonnes CO2 from peat fires and decomposition of peat soils after draining. However, the uncertainty range is very large.

The above material is quoted from Wikipedia

The above figures clearly indicate that China, the USA and India must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to stabilize climate change and avoid disastrous global warming. Unfortunately all three countries refuse to participate in international agreements to reduce emissions.This makes it all the more important for individual consumers to reduce their emissions as much as possible. Installation of a high efficiency furnace is a good start to this. Go to our website at  gas furnace costs  for more information and also at
   high efficiency furnaces.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Why Is A high Efficiency Gas Furnace Called A Condensing Furnace?

When you read the l;iterature about gas furnaces you will usually come across the term "condensing gas furnace" which is used to describe a type of furnace with the highest efficiency rating (AFUE). Medium efficiency furnaces are not called condensing gas furnaces. why is this?.

High efficiency furnaces with over 90% efficiency and running up to 97% efficiency are all condensing gas furnaces. Here is how  Manitoba Hydro  explains this.

High-efficiency condensing furnace
One of the by-products of burning natural gas is water
vapour, which contains approximately 10 per cent of the
fuel’s energy. However, in conventional and mid-efficient
furnaces all of the energy contained in the water vapour
escapes through the chimney.
A high efficiency furnace has a secondary heat exchanger
that extracts most of the energy from the water vapour by
condensing it to water. The water is then drained to a floor
drain, via gravity or an optional condensate pump system.
These units cannot use a conventional metal chimney.
The lower temperature flue gases are vented outside using
a special plastic venting system. Plastic pipe is used for
its corrosion resistance properties. The AFUE ratings for
high-efficiency, condensing furnaces is between 90-96
per cent. It is estimated that a high efficiency furnace can
reduce your home’s annual heating bill by up to 35 per
cent compared to a conventional furnace.
Your existing natural gas water heater can be left alone on
the existing chimney as long as it works properly and the
chimney meets the requirements of the National Natural
Gas Installation Code.
However, once the water heater is isolated on the existing
chimney, it may not work properly. Problems such as flue
gases condensing in the chimney, back-drafting or other
venting problems can occur. The chimney may have to
be modified to correct these problems. The most common
modification is installing a smaller diameter chimney liner
into the existing chimney.

The above material is quoted directly from a  Manitoba Hydro  publication. As they explain a condensing gas furnace actually cools burnt gases and extracts heat from them till they become cool enough to condense the water vapor portion of the gases. the liquid water is then drained from the furnace into a floor drain.
For more information about high efficiency furnaces see buy gas furnace and    high efficiency furnaces

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

High Efficiency Furnace Is Leaking Water?


High efficiency furnaces just as with any other mechanical devices can have problems. Recognizing what the problem is, what is causing it, and how to fix it can be difficult for anyone who is not well versed in how a high efficiency furnace works. Here is an article published in  The Bradenton Herald  and written by Angie Hicks about a leaky high efficiency furnace:

Ask Angie: Furnace Leaking Water

By Angie Hicks-
Dear Angie

Why would a furnace leak water at the base? The filter is wet also.

Brent T., Indianapolis

Dear Brent: There could be a few reasons why your furnace is leaking water, but let's start with the most likely one: a condensation leak. High-efficiency furnaces those with an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 90 percent or higher have cool exhaust, and as a result, they produce condensation. An easy way to tell if you have a high-efficiency furnace is to look at its vent pipe. If the pipe is white plastic (PVC), you have a high-efficiency furnace.

 Typically, the condensation from a high efficiency gas furnace is channeled to a floor drain. Your leak could be a result of the condensation tubing becoming clogged or from breaks in the line. It could also be a result of the drain becoming clogged. A standard-efficiency furnace which has a metal exhaust pipe should not have condensation. If it does, it could mean that the flue pipe was incorrectly sized. That could allow the hot exhaust to cool down and condense in the pipe, then drain back to the furnace and leak out. If you don't have a condensation issue, it's possible that the secondary heat exchanger in your furnace is the source of your leak. Let's hope not, though. That could be an expensive fix and might even require a complete replacement of your furnace.

 You could also have an issue with your humidifier, which could be leaking inside your furnace. If you've had an annual service check, as you should, this is an unlikely scenario because your service technician would have alerted you to the issue early. If you have neglected that service, you should call for it now because if this is your problem, the leak could do a lot of internal damage to your furnace. There is another possibility. If your air conditioning unit is still operating and it shares an internal drain with your furnace, you could have an internal drain system plug, which is sending water to the furnace.

While we can't diagnose your issue precisely, don't let this go too much longer. Leaks can cause huge issues including damaging parts, flooring and walls and lead to mold growth. It's a clear sign that you need to call in professional help. A reputable heating and cooling specialist should be able to quickly diagnose the leak and offer solutions to your problem. Do your homework and get more than one estimate before you act, but get started now. Angie's List collects about 40,000 consumer reports each month covering more than 350 categories of home-related services. Angie Hicks compiles the best advice from the most highly rated service pros on Angie's List to answer your questions. Ask Angie your question at 2011,

The above material is quoted from the Bradenton Herald.

As with most modern devices the technology advances in furnaces have made them ever more complex in construction and gas furnace prices are higher than ever before. This means that what might have been a do it yourself job on an older furnace is now beyond the capability of the average home owner. Calling a qualified service representative is really the only way to go when it comes to having work done on your high efficiency furnace.
For more information check out  gas furnace prices  and  high efficiency furnaces

Sunday, December 18, 2011

High Efficiency Furnaces Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Most of us are aware that burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas or coal generates waste gases which are emitted into the atmosphere. It is believed by many scientists that these emissions are largely responsible for the climate changes which are presently underway. there is another school of thought which says that climate changes have been continual over the course of geological time and that the present global warming is a natural occurrence which would take place even if we do not emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

It is undoubtedly true that vast climate changes have happened regularly over the milennia. However there is little doubt that even if our greenhpuse gas emissions are not the primary reason for global warming they are certainly contributing to global warming and speeding it up. For this reason many of us want to cut our impact on the atmosphere by reducing our "carbon footprint" as it is often called. Installing a high efficiency gas furnace is one way to make a big cut in the emissions we contribute to the problem. Here is a document published by the  United States Environmental Protection Agency  which discusses the problem of greenhouse gases:

Natural Gas
Electricity Generation Technologies
Natural Gas
Nuclear Energy
Municipal Solid Waste
Non-Hydroelectric Renewable Energy

Electricity from Natural Gas
Natural gas is a fossil fuel formed when layers of buried plants and animals are exposed to intense heat and pressure over thousands of years. The energy that the plants and animals originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of carbon in natural gas. Natural gas is combusted to generate electricity, enabling this stored energy to be transformed into usable power. Natural gas is a nonrenewable resource because it cannot be replenished on a human time frame.
The natural gas power production process begins with the extraction of natural gas, continues with its treatment and transport to the power plants, and ends with its combustion in boilers and turbines to generate electricity.
Initially, wells are drilled into the ground to remove the natural gas. After the natural gas is extracted, it is treated at gas plants to remove impurities such as hydrogen sulfide, helium, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, and moisture. Pipelines then transport the natural gas from the gas plants to power plants.
Power plants use several methods to convert gas to electricity. One method is to burn the gas in a boiler to produce steam, which is then used by a steam turbine to generate electricity. A more common approach is to burn the gas in a combustion turbine to generate electricity.
Another technology, that is growing in popularity is to burn the natural gas in a combustion turbine and use the hot combustion turbine exhaust to make steam to drive a steam turbine. This technology is called "combined cycle" and achieves a higher efficiency by using the same fuel source twice.
Environmental Impacts
Although power plants are regulated by federal and state laws to protect human health and the environment, there is a wide variation of environmental impacts associated with power generation technologies.
The purpose of the following section is to give consumers a better idea of the specific air, water, and solid waste releases associated with natural gas-fired generation.
Air Emissions
At the power plant, the burning of natural gas produces nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide, but in lower quantities than burning coal or oil. Methane, a primary component of natural gas and a greenhouse gas, can also be emitted into the air when natural gas is not burned completely. Similarly, methane can be emitted as the result of leaks and losses during transportation. Emissions of sulfur dioxide and mercury compoundsfrom burning natural gas are negligible.
The average emissions rates in the United States from natural gas-fired generation are: 1135 lbs/MWh of carbon dioxide, 0.1 lbs/MWh of sulfur dioxide, and 1.7 lbs/MWh of nitrogen oxides.1 Compared to the average air emissions from coal-fired generation, natural gas produces half as much carbon dioxide, less than a third as much nitrogen oxides, and one percent as much sulfur oxides at the power plant.2 In addition, the process of extraction, treatment, and transport of the natural gas to the power plant generates additional emissions.
Water Resource Use
The burning of natural gas in combustion turbines requires very little water. However, natural gas-fired boiler and combined cycle systems do require water for cooling purposes. When power plants remove water from a lake or river, fish and other aquatic life can be killed, affecting animals and people who depend on these aquatic resources.
Water Discharges
Combustion turbines do not produce any water discharges. However, pollutants and heat build up in the water used in natural gas boilers and combined cycle systems. When these pollutants and heat reach certain levels, the water is often discharged into lakes or rivers. This discharge usually requires a permit and is monitored. For more information about these regulations, visit EPA's Office of Water Web site.
Solid Waste Generation
The use of natural gas to create electricity does not produce substantial amounts of solid waste.
Land Resource Use
The extraction of natural gas and the construction of natural gas power plants can destroy natural habitat for animals and plants. Possible land resource impacts include erosion, loss of soil productivity, and landslides.

The above material is reprinted from a document published by  The United States Environmental Protection agency

Clearly if we as individuals want to cut our "carbon footprint" by reducing the quantities of greenhouse gases we emit into the atmosphere, a high efficiency natural gas furnasce will be a good step in this direction. A furnace with 97% efficiency rating will use 35% to 50% less gas than an older furnace of 50% to 60% efficiency. Hence apart from saving money on our gas bills we are also saving our atmosphere from further pollution. For more information about high efficiency furnaces go to gas furnace prices and to  high efficiency furnaces 


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Should You Have Your Air ducts Cleaned Regularly?


Air ducts are the system of metal piping which carries hot air from your furnace into the home to warm it.They also carry cool air from the air conditioner in warm weather. Many people are under the impression that these air ducts can accumulate substantial  amounts of dirt and dust which will then be carried into the home by the air flow from the furnace. But is this really so and should you have your air ducts professionally cleaned at regular intervals. Many people do just this and pay quite large fees for the work. Is is necessary and worthwhile. Here is a quote from the United States Environmental Protection Agency on this subject:

Knowledge about air duct cleaning is in its early stages, so a blanket recommendation cannot be offered as to whether you should have your air ducts in your home cleaned. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urges you to read this document in it entirety as it provides important information on the subject.

Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts. This is because much of the dirt in air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. It is important to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles that are present in homes. Pollutants that enter the home both from outdoors and indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just moving around can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. Moreover, there is no evidence that a light amount of household dust or other particulate mater in air ducts poses any risk to your health.

You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if:

There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:

Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it.
If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.
If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.

Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects); or

Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.
If any of the conditions identified above exists, it usually suggests one or more underlying causes. Prior to any cleaning, retrofitting, or replacing of your ducts, the cause or causes must be corrected or else the problem will likely recur.

Some research suggests that cleaning heating and cooling system components (e.g., cooling coils, fans and heat exchangers) may improve the efficiency of your system, resulting in a longer operating life, as well as some energy and maintenance cost savings. However, little evidence exists that cleaning only the ducts will improve the efficiency of the system.

You may consider having your air ducts cleaned simply because it seems logical that air ducts will get dirty over time and should be occasionally cleaned. Provided that the cleaning is done properly, no evidence suggests that such cleaning would be detrimental. EPA does not recommend that the air ducts be cleaned routinely, but only as needed. EPA does, however, recommend that if you have a fuel burning furnace, stove or fireplace, they be inspected for proper functioning and serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you do decide to have your air ducts cleaned, take the same consumer precautions you normally would in assessing the service provider's competence and reliability.

Air duct cleaning service providers may tell you that they need to apply chemical biocide to the inside of your ducts as a means to kill bacteria (germs) and fungi (mold) and prevent future biological growth. They may also propose the application of a "sealant" to prevent dust and dirt particles from being released into the air or to seal air leaks. You should fully understand the pros and cons of permitting application of chemical biocides or sealants. While the targeted use of chemical biocides and sealants may be appropriate under specific circumstances, research has not demonstrated their effectiveness in duct cleaning or their potential adverse health effects. No chemical biocides are currently registered by EPA for use in internally-insulated air duct systems (see Should chemical biocides be applied to the inside of air ducts?).

Whether or not you decide to have the air ducts in your home cleaned, preventing water and dirt from entering the system is the most effective way to prevent contamination (see How to Prevent Duct Contamination).

The above material is quoted from the EPA website.

So it seems that there is actually little reason to clean air ducts regularly unless you have evidence of a problem. However if you feel better about having this done regularly it will not do any harm to your heating system. Therefore it is a matter for individual choice and is entirely up to you. Just realize that you may be paying quite a lot for a service which is not accomplishing anything helpful.
You can go to our website for more information about gas furnace prices and also high efficiency furnaces.