A Furnace Working As Intended

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

During a thermal infrared inspection today, among other things I was there to investigate, I thought this would be an interesting picture.

This is a thermal image of a high efficiency condensing gas furnace.  It is the one you have seen with PVC tubing exiting the unit.  They are terrific furnaces.  The one pictured here is 6 years old, which makes it the fourth generation.  This later generation has worked out all the kinks.  They work great.

Many gas furnaces, like my own, have flues which exit through the roof.  My furnace loses a lot of its heat through that flue.  Of the heat remaining to send through my house, I am gaining only a portion of that.  Therefore, a small portion of the dollar I am spending for natural gas is actually converted into heat for my house.  My furnace is "85% efficient," but that does not mean I am getting $.85 worth of heat for every dollar I spend on gas.

This unit eliminates the need for the flue that exhausts through the roof because it captures and re-burns that exhaust!  So for every dollar spent on natural gas, it is getting nearly a dollar's worth of heat. And the exhaust is so cool, a PVC tube can handle it and you could virtually blow dry your hair with it (well, except for that pesky carbon monoxide presence).

Another terrific advantage it offers is that it brings in fresh air every time the system turns on.  It exchanges 10-12% of the air in the house as it works to heat the house.  So it is not simply reheating the same stale air. 

Today, the outdoor temperature was 56 degrees F during my inspection. 

This furnace is working as intended.  The purple line just to the left of center is the air intake tube.  The vertical yellow line to its right is the exhaust tube.  The purple intake is 57.6F, and the yellow exhaust 95.7F.  That is really efficient!  And pretty cool, too, so to speak...

My recommendation:  If you have a gas furnace and are contemplating replacement, look into a high efficiency condensing gas furnace.  They are more expensive, to be sure, but very, very efficient.  You will notice the difference on your first gas bill!

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Active Rain Block Party
Professional Home Inspectors
The Vent
Tags:
condensing gas furnace
highefficiency furnace
gas furnace
thermal imaging
thermal infrared
thermal infrared inspection

Comments 13 New Comment

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Rainmaker
413,870
Jen Bowman
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL
Keller Williams Realty

Jay this is great information. I didn't know about high efficiency condensing furnaces.

November 19, 2009 08:02 PM
Rainmaker
645,151
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate

Thanks for the post.  My furnace is older and  this gives me something to think about for the future although I hope it's the distant future.

November 19, 2009 08:07 PM
Rainmaker
1,218,201
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

You may not have them down there Jen, or at least not many of them.  You are probably very familiar with heat pumps though!

Allen - depending on where you live, meaning very cold weather, these units can save you lots of money.  Do you see many of these in North Carolina?

November 19, 2009 08:13 PM
Rainmaker
78,050
Eric Middleton
Professional Property Inspector
Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.

Jay- I don't see many of these furnaces, but as you stated in your post, they are really good.

November 19, 2009 10:02 PM
Rainmaker
1,218,201
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

I am seering them more and more Eric.  Personally I don't need a new furnace, but when I do, this is the one I'm buying.

November 20, 2009 02:32 AM
Rainmaker
1,177,684
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

Jay,

I like all the weird colors you get with those devices. Very farout.

November 20, 2009 06:24 PM
Rainmaker
163,409
Kate Ford
Ask Kate a mortgage question...
Get-Your-Best-Mortgage-Rate.com

I want a thermal imager like yours. Not sure what I'd do with it. But it looks like I'd have fun with it. Will Croakster be her Tuesday or Wednesday. and yes you ARE his keeper.

November 20, 2009 06:40 PM
Rainmaker
1,218,201
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Steve - and they all mean things!  But, yes, far, far out man.  I have another post coming where a lady said she could smell her neighbor fertilizing his lawn through her kitchen window, but no where else.  My camera figured out why!  Pretty cool too.

Kate - he is very happy at the pond, overflowing with new rain water.  You can email him.  I think his new address is Croaksallnight@frogpond.com

November 20, 2009 06:59 PM
Rainmaker
163,409
Kate Ford
Ask Kate a mortgage question...
Get-Your-Best-Mortgage-Rate.com

Confirmed with him. He says he'll be here Thursday morning but going back the same night as he can't be away from the pond too long. You're right. He does like it.

November 20, 2009 07:23 PM
Rainmaker
626,722
James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

Jay, Here's one I took of a high efficiency oil boiler. Oil is not any where near as efficient as gas, but this boiler was a high end unit. You may notice this heating unit loses a lot of heat.

November 21, 2009 06:26 AM
Rainmaker
1,218,201
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Yeah, James, but the return pipe is much cooler than the out flow, so that puppy's working!  When I was a kid, the oil boilers were wrapped entirely with asbestos.  We used to dry our gloves on those boilers after playing in the snow.  The heat loss, even through asbestos (the BEST insulator) was still there!

November 21, 2009 06:43 AM
Rainmaker
1,343,299
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
WI Realtors - Luxury - Short Sale - CDPE, REDS
Keller Williams 414-525-0563

  I think you need to start framing these colorful thermo-graphs...autograph them and give them as House WARMING presents...:) !

November 23, 2009 06:15 AM
Rainmaker
1,218,201
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

S&D - "Here is your roof.  Good luck with the house.  Love,  Jay"

Nice picture that would make!

November 23, 2009 04:01 PM
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Rainmaker
1,218,201

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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