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 furnace or replacing your existing unit, there are three important items that needs to be considered. The burner capacity, blower capacity, and energy efficiency.
The industry standard for determining the burner capacity needed for the Central Texas climate is to maintain an inside temperature of 70 degrees when the outside temperature is 30 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. Stan’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:
- WI-FI Thermostats controlled via Phone, Tablet, or Personal Computer
- Upgrades to two, three, and variable stage burner technology
- Noise suppression technology
- ECM blower technology