Brilliant Home Services Blog : Posts Tagged ‘gas furnaces’

Why Is My Furnace Leaking Water?

Monday, February 20th, 2017

February is ending with a few warm weather surprises here in Chicagoland. Some days have even gotten up into the 60s! But we can’t let this deceive us into believing that it’s already time to shut down our furnaces for the season: March is infamous for the way it can throw harsh cold snaps at us, and even April can turn chilly. Your gas furnace isn’t done with its workload yet—and it’s more important than ever to act fast and call for furnace repairs if you should notice any furnace behavior that doesn’t look right.

And water leaking from the bottom of your furnace? Yeah, that definitely doesn’t look right!

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A Caution about Electric Furnace Efficiency Ratings

Monday, February 6th, 2017

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Last week we discussed how the efficiency ratings for furnaces work. The short version: a gas furnace’s efficiency is rated as AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency), a percentage that tells you how much of the furnace’s natural gas fuel supply it converts into heat. The current ENERGY STAR requirement for furnaces is 90% AFUE or above.

“Okay, but what about electric furnaces?” you might ask. “How do they score on AFUE?”

It’s good question. And the answer is a deceptive one: electric furnaces have 100% AFUE.

“So I should always get an electric furnace, right? Even the highest end gas furnace doesn’t get 100% AFUE! An electric furnace has a perfect score!”

Okay… this is one of difficulties in explaining AFUE to people unfamiliar with it. AFUE doesn’t actually tell you how much you’ll pay to run your furnace. “Higher Efficiency” isn’t equal to “Lower Cost.”

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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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A Few Carbon Monoxide Warnings for the Winter

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Back in August we wrote a post about how important it is for you to have carbon monoxide detectors installed for your house if you use natural gas. As we’re getting closer and closer to winter and can expect to see even more use from our natural gas furnaces, it’s a good time to bring up a few important reminders about the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to keep your family safe through the season.

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The Great Fall Furnace Dilemma: Is It Time to Replace That Old Furnace?

Monday, September 26th, 2016

In our recent blog posts, we’ve written about how important regular maintenance is for your home heating system. You want this task taken care of long before the first cold day arrives! (If you still need to schedule maintenance, fill out this form and click on “maintenance visit” as the type of service you require. We’ll take care of the rest—it’s that easy!)

In this post, we’re going to look at a bigger winter preparation step: replacing the entire furnace. If you have an old gas furnace, we recommend that you consider having it replaced with a new one during the fall.

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