Modulating Furnace: Cool Savings For Warm Comfort
If you’ve ever felt chilly right before hearing your furnace turn on, you have firsthand experience of the deficiencies of standard furnaces. While heat leaves your house at varying rates depending on the weather outside, your furnace can only be on or off. This means the actual temperature in your house is constantly fluctuating, going up when the furnace is on and down when the furnace is off.
A modulating furnace offers an alternative to this temperature roller-coaster. It uses gas valves that can operate at a wide range of fractions of their full capacity to change the rate at which it is adding heat to the house. Some models also have a variable speed blower. Ideally, modulating furnaces add heat to the house at the same rate it is leaving, thus eliminating the on-off cycle. To accomplish this, modulating furnaces have sensors that feed back to the controls that calculate the appropriate level for the gas valves and blower to run at. This process allows a modulating furnace to keep the temperature within a fraction of a degree of the thermostat setting.
Modulating furnaces offer multiple additional benefits:
- They save you money on energy bills. They are much more efficient than traditional furnaces. The frequent turning off and on that traditional furnaces do is inefficient. Modulating furnaces eliminate a lot of this. They also use highly efficient fans since they spend more time running. Additionally, the advance controls found in modulating furnaces adjust the output levels of the blower and gas valves for peak efficiency.
- They’re quieter. Since they spend most of their time running at less than full power they make less noise.
- They can offer advanced features. Some models take advantage of the sensors and controls to offer self-diagnostic features to help troubleshoot any problems. They also may have automated safety features to appropriately deal with problems like a blocked flue.
If you want more information about modulating furnaces or have any HVAC-related questions, please contact us at Air-Tro, Inc. We’ve been serving the Greater Los Angeles area for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Pasadena, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock