Popular Posts

Monday, January 30, 2017

Condensing Furnaces In Attics?

Can you install a condensing furnace(90% + efficiency) in an unconditioned attic?  That is a common question we get here every winter at Environmental Heating & Air.  The short answer is technically yes you can.  But it should be noted that according to most leading HVAC equipment manufacturer installation manuals, it is recommended that condensing furnaces NOT be installed in unconditioned spaces.  The main reason being due to the freezing of condensation produced from normal system operation.  Condensing furnaces are high efficiency furnaces that cause condensation as part of the heating process.  Freezing temps in an unconditioned attic can cause the condensation to freeze, halting system operation, eventually causing the drain pipes to crack, equaling significant water damage to ceilings and/or any drywall.  Which is why a lot of HVAC service companies will not install condensing furnaces in unconditioned attics, it's just not worth the risk.  There are extra steps that can be taken to ensure condensation drain lines will not freeze, but even said steps still run a chance of failure resulting in an expensive situation for the homeowner.

The good news is that with current advancements in HVAC technology, I can't imagine that an unconditioned space compliant condensing furnace is far off.  Manufacturers today are making great strides in furnace efficiency at a very fast pace.  So let's hope more versatile high efficiency furnaces are in our near future!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Furnace Safety Awareness

I know it's been posted on here a few times about furnace safety in the past, but being made aware of the risks involved with cracked heat exchangers in furnaces can never be emphasized too much!  If you have a furnace in your home that's more than a few years old, you need to have a trained and certified professional inspect it and provide you with an overall assessment of your heat exchanger and burners.  You and your family's lives may depend on it!  If a crack or pinhole in the heat exchanger is found by a technician, they will then inform you of this find and advise you on how to proceed. 

Cracked heat exchangers can produce the odorless gas Carbon Monoxide, the silent killer.  Carbon Monoxide has no smell, color, or taste and can only be detected by CO detectors and specialized equipment.  There is only really two possible options after a crack is found, 1) replace the heat exchanger, or 2) replace the entire furnace.  Depending on how old the furnace is will determine the wisest path to take.  Most major brands of furnaces now offer 10 - 20 year heat exchanger warranties, in which case you should only be charged labor by the company you use to replace it.  At Environmental, we always work with the customer to figure out the most sensible option based on the age of the unit and your financial situation.

Remember, a cracked heat exchanger and/or deteriorating burners are a recipe for disaster!  Carbon Monoxide is very dangerous and at the very least you should have one CO detector present for every floor of your home.  Signing up for a Preventative Maintenance Plan will catch these dangers early and can also prevent them from happening in the first place, thus extending the life of your system.  Just give us a call and we would be glad to answer your questions and get you signed up today!