You really can't overestimate the importance of having a reliable heater. If you want to make a careful and informed choice about your heating and air in Snellville, GA, it's a good idea to understand the differences between condensing and non-condensing heaters. Since only newer heaters are condensing, older homes with boilers or furnaces are almost guaranteed to have non-condensing systems. This doesn't mean that non-condensing heaters are utterly obsolete, but it's worth considering the pros and cons of each option. For heating systems, efficiency, performance, cost, and maintenance are all key considerations to keep in mind.
Older boilers and furnaces are all non-condensing systems. This simply means that the temperature within the unit is kept high enough that water vapor in the flue gas never condenses. The result is that you don't get any condensation. Why is this so important? When condensate builds up, it tends to cause corrosion due to its acidity. Over time, this damages the mechanisms of the boiler or furnace. If severe enough, it can cause serious harm to your heater. Eventually, the heater will need to be repaired or replaced outright.
This may seem like an obvious choice since it prevents damage to the system. However, it's worth looking at how this is accomplished. Temperatures have to be maintained that avoid condensation altogether. The result is a heater that never operates any higher than around a 70-80% efficiency. This translates to higher energy bills, especially during the coldest months of the year.
Newer heaters tend to be condensing systems. With condensing boilers and furnaces, the water vapor is used to preheat the water or air. This is a smart innovation since it recovers otherwise wasted energy and re-purposes it to aid the heating process. The result is impressive since many condensing heaters have operating efficiencies of around 95%.
To combat the possibility of corrosion, the burner and heat exchanger are built using non-corrosive or corrosive-resistant materials. This stops corrosion before it has the chance to start. The operating temperature of the heather is lower than in non-condensing units. One consequence of this is that condensing heaters use less energy. This combination provides both increased heating efficiency and lower energy bills.
As you'd expect, newer technology does come at a cost. The upfront expense of a condensing heater does tend to be higher than non-condensing systems. Of course, over the lifetime of a heater, you could easily expect to make up the difference in operational savings. Lower energy bills and greater efficiency do add up over time. When it comes to efficiency and cost, condensing boilers and furnaces tend to come out ahead. This is certainly true if you look at the performance of the heater over a period of several years.
Ultimately, you have to make the final decision. As technology continues to advance, condensing heaters are becoming less expensive and even more efficient, which certainly gives them an edge compared to the older non-condensing systems. Of course, older systems also tend to be a bit noisier, and finding replacement parts becomes more challenging over time.
For heating and air installation Snellville, GA, it's always a good idea to consult with the experts. The industry and related technologies are always making progress, and it's never a bad idea to be a bit ahead of the curve. Contact Triad Mechanical at 770-682-0075 to ask questions, receive expert advice, and get a quote.
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