Why Do Modulating Furnaces Cost More than Traditional Models

The fluctuating winter weather in Decatur, GA, means that you need a furnace that’s able to adjust itself to accommodate different levels of heating. Modulating furnaces offer this capability, making them an energy-efficient solution to heat your home. A modulating furnace is a big investment, and it’s important to know why they cost more than a traditional furnace and why they’re worth it.

Modulating Gas Valve

Modulating furnaces have a self-modulating gas valve. This valve customizes the gas supply and flame size to the current need for heating. The valve itself costs more than a standard valve that can either be closed or 100% open.

Variable-speed Blower Motor

Modulating furnaces have a variable-speed blower motor. These motors rarely operate at 100% capacity. Once the heating demand is met, the motor generally operates at 30% to 50% capacity. This lowers the furnace’s energy use, which will result in lower operating costs. The technology of the variable-speed motor has a higher cost than a single-stage blower motor, but the energy savings will allow it to pay off within a few years, explains Energy Star.

Secondary Heat Exchanger

Modulating furnaces have some of the highest annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings. Modulating furnaces have AFUE ratings of 97 to 98%. They achieve this with the combination of the modulating gas valve, variable-speed blower motor, and secondary heat exchanger. Conventional furnaces only have one heat exchanger, but modulating furnaces have two. The secondary heat exchanger collects the heat from the combustion waste gases before those gases are blown out the furnace’s flue. In a traditional furnace, up to 30% of the heat is lost to the combustion byproducts. With a modulating furnace, less than 2% of the heat is lost through the flue.

To learn more about modulating furnaces and why they’re a good investment for your home, take a look at Zack Hammonds A/C Heating Refrigeration Inc’s quality heating systems, or get in touch with us today.

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