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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Rainmaker
418,036
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams Realty - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

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

Nov 19, 2009 08:02 PM #1
Rainmaker
645,245
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

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.

Nov 19, 2009 08:07 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,278,162
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

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?

Nov 19, 2009 08:13 PM #3
Rainmaker
78,275
Eric Middleton
Closer Look Property Inspections Inc. - Uniondale, NY
Professional Property Inspector

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

Nov 19, 2009 10:02 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,278,162
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

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.

Nov 20, 2009 02:32 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,185,931
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Jay,

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

Nov 20, 2009 06:24 PM #6
Rainmaker
166,025
Kate Ford
Get-Your-Best-Mortgage-Rate.com - San Diego, CA
Ask Kate a mortgage question...

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.

Nov 20, 2009 06:40 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,278,162
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

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

Nov 20, 2009 06:59 PM #8
Rainmaker
166,025
Kate Ford
Get-Your-Best-Mortgage-Rate.com - San Diego, CA
Ask Kate a mortgage question...

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.

Nov 20, 2009 07:23 PM #9
Rainmaker
647,107
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

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.

Nov 21, 2009 06:26 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,278,162
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

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!

Nov 21, 2009 06:43 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,490,360
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Short Sale - CDPE, REDS

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

Nov 23, 2009 06:15 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,278,162
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

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

Nice picture that would make!

Nov 23, 2009 04:01 PM #13
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Rainmaker
1,278,162

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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