Why Are Modulating Furnaces and Boilers Great Heating Options for Denver-Boulder Homes?
When it comes to central heating equipment for homes in the Colorado Front Range, the most common types of systems are forced air heat, featuring furnaces, and hot water heat, which use a central boiler. If one of these popular options describes the heating system in your home, we recommend that you take the time to learn about the most comfortable, quietest, most efficient type of equipment available for your home: modulating furnaces and boilers. This blog might be just the place for you to start!
What Does ‘Modulating’ Mean?
The ‘big brother’ of two-stage heating systems, which provide two levels of heating output, modulating furnaces and boilers provide the most accurate control of the heat produced by your system, providing just the right amount of heating needed to keep you comfortable under any conditions.
Modulating, or variable-output forced air furnaces, which are available in efficiencies as high as 98% AFUE, operate by monitoring and adjusting in real time the length and BTU heat output of heating cycles in order to attain the most efficient, least intrusive, most comfortable performance.
Heating production from these sealed combustion, modulating furnaces can vary from as low as 35% of rated output, all the way up to 100%, automatically adjusting in 1% increments as dictated by conditions. As heating output is reduced, so are the speeds of the furnace’s main air blower and exhaust fan – for even quieter operation and lower electrical consumption. During the system setup procedure, modulating furnaces can be customized for specific locations and the type of seasonal weather patterns that you experience at your home.
Modulating hot water boilers, often used for heating homes by means of hot water baseboards and/or radiant floor, operate similarly to the forced air models, with some differences specific to hot water systems. Also featuring sealed combustion venting and a setup procedure that can be customized for your location and desires, these central heaters boast efficiencies that top out in the 95-96% AFUE range – this, in addition to the advantages that zoned heating has to offer.
In some cases, an outdoor temperature sensor is used with a modulating boiler to assist in monitoring and adjusting performance even more accurately. Under appropriate conditions, some models of modulating boilers can adjust their output below even 30% of their rating: Great for hot water baseboards as well as radiant floor systems, and of course for those milder days we see in the Denver-Boulder area throughout the heating season.
Benefits of Modulating Heating Systems
- Higher energy efficiency
- Quieter, less intrusive operation
- Lower electrical consumption
- Heat output more accurately matched with needs
- Automatic response to changing outdoor conditions
Electrical Savings and Quieter Operation
In addition to the lowest gas consumption, the electrical usage of modulating equipment is among the very lowest of central heaters in their respective classes. As the main blower (furnaces only) and exhaust blower (boilers and furnaces) fan speeds ramp down when heating output is automatically reduced, not only are electrical costs lower, but so are operating sound levels. We’ve actually heard some customers comment that they didn’t notice when their system turned on!
For homes with variable-output forced air furnaces, this type of equipment also enables your furnace filter and central humidifier to do their jobs better by providing longer – but less intrusive – heating cycles, as opposed to shutting down quickly after ‘blasting’ the house with full heat output for a shorter period of time.
For homes cooled by central AC, please note that there are variable-output central AC systems available, which provide comparable cooling benefits during the summertime.
Denver-Boulder Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical Professionals
Add up all of the above and you can clearly see why Save Home Heat Company recommends modulating furnaces and boilers for attaining the highest level of comfort and the best long-term heating investment, for our customers that have central home comfort systems.
For over four decades, our team at Save Home Heat has been helping Boulder-Denver area homeowners achieve higher levels of safety, comfort and efficiency in their homes. When it comes to home heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical, you can trust our experience, expertise, and strong commitment to providing you advise, recommendations, and service that’s always in your best interests. Please give us a call today for expert assistance you can depend on.