Brilliant Electric Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for January, 2017

Why Are Newer Furnaces More Efficient Than Older Ones?

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

furnace-burners-ignitedCurrent home heating systems work better and at higher energy efficiency than ones from 20, 30, even 10 years ago. We can chalk this up to an investment in research to improve the products, as well as the nebulous idea of “progress.” But there are specifics behind why heaters waste less energy today than the models of the not-too-distant past.

For example, look at the natural gas furnace. Gas furnaces once had AFUE ratings between 56% and 70%. That means that even at the most efficient level, a furnace was converting only 70% of its natural gas into heating power and letting 30% go to waste.

Fast-forward to today. The best furnaces available for homes have AFUE ratings of 98.5%, which means only 1.5% of the natural gas goes to waste. Lower-end furnaces can have AFUE ratings between 85% and 90%. The standard for a furnace to earn the ENERGY STAR label from the Department of Energy is 90% AFUE.

So the question is: “What’s changed?” Well, quite a bit!

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Why Is My Heat Pump Struggling to Warm the House?

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Nothing can be more frustrating during another icy cold Chicago winter than to have a heating system that simply isn’t delivering the level of heat that a home needs. If you have a heat pump and you’re currently running into problems with cold spots around the house and what seems like a forever wait until people feel warm, you’ll want to know what’s wrong.

Let’s take a look and find out how to get your home pleasant once again:

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Why Your Heater May Be Tripping the Circuit Breaker

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Your heater receives power from your home’s electrical system (yes, even a gas furnace or boiler—we’ll get to that). That means your heating system could cause a circuit breaker in the electrical panel to trip when it’s running. If this happens once, but doesn’t reoccur after you reset the breaker, then it’s probably not a major problem. But if is happens more than once, you may need heating or electrical repairs to solve the problem.

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Replace that Old Boiler before It Breaks Down!

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

With winter here in full force, you can’t afford to have your home’s boiler give out on you. If you arranged for professional maintenance for your boiler before the winter started, it ought to be in excellent shape. But nothing is certain, especially if you have an old boiler that’s getting close to replacement age.

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