In this part of the country, forced air furnaces are the most common heating systems. A forced air furnace blows warm air through a network of ducts branching out from the furnace to all the rooms in the house.
Forced air furnaces can be powered by natural gas, fuel oil, liquid propane (L.P. gas), or electricity.
Natural gas is the most cost effective option for homes located within reach of city natural gas service. In the countryside, L.P. gas and fuel oil are the most common fuels. We are one of the few remaining local companies expert in servicing oil furnaces.
Sometimes homeowners wish to convert their systems from one fuel type to another. Going from fuel oil to natural gas or L.P. gas usually requires a completely new furnace. Converting from L.P. gas to natural gas can often be accomplished by retrofitting the existing furnace with some new parts.
The newest natural gas powered furnaces feature innovative technology that increases efficiency and comfort. The industry jargon for these furnaces is “multi-stage.”
A multi-stage furnace automatically adjusts to outdoor temperatures so that more heat is generated on colder days and less heat is produced on warmer days.
Here's how it works: A furnace must be able to warm a house even during the coldest days of the year. Therefore, in calculating the furnace size required for your home, a heating contractor must determine what size furnace can deliver the capacity needed for South Central Wisconsin's coldest weather. This capacity is expressed in “BTUs,” or British Thermal Units, a measure of how much heat the furnace can generate.
Every time a conventional furnace turns on, it operates at this peak level of BTU output even if it is not the coldest day of the year. But a “multi-stage” furnace detects when full output is not needed and responds by reducing BTU output. This can save a lot of energy and boost furnace efficiency to 95-96%.
Variable speed blower motor: Some models of these new furnaces are also equipped with a “variable-speed” blower motor. In any furnace, the blower motor is the part that pushes warm air through the ductwork. A conventional blower motor operates at one speed, calibrated during installation from a few fixed options.
A “variable-speed” blower motor automatically adjusts its speed according to how much power is actually needed to move warm air through the ducts. When lower speeds are sufficient, it slows down. When higher speeds are required, it speeds up.
The result? Lower electricity usage, a quieter furnace, and room air that feels more evenly heated.