State-of-the-Art Furnaces & Boilers Share Common Ground!

January 19, 2023

High efficiency is the watchword of the day in home heating, and there’s little chance of that changing as technology continues to advance and conserving energy, preserving valuable resources, and saving money remain an important focus for homeowners and utility providers alike. In this blog post, we will visit similarities that state-of-the-art forced air furnaces and central hot water boilers have in common, specifically, their key design features and internal components.

Our hope is to provide some helpful background for anyone out there considering a central heating system upgrade in the near future.

Regardless of the fact that these heaters deliver heat to the home in very different manners, what they have in common is well worth noting. Unlike, say, three or four decades ago, there’s a level of uniformity in design that our team at Save Home Heat is very glad to see!

Comparing Two Top Furnaces and Boilers

For this discussion, we’ll compare two central heaters that are popular in the Denver-Boulder area, and are regularly installed by our comfort team at Save Home Heat: the Lennox SLP99V forced air furnace, and the Triangle Tube Prestige Solo hot water boiler.

Lennox Premier Dealer
Energy Star Most Efficient 2022 logoBoth units are ENERGY STAR Most Efficient certified. The Lennox furnace has an efficiency rating of 99% AFUE, unsurpassed in the industry, and the Triangle Tube Prestige Solo boiler is rated 95% AFUE, which is extremely high for hot water heating equipment.

Enough said, let’s take a closer look at their similarities:

Sealed Combustion, PVC Plastic Venting System

Two-pipe, plastic venting systems (one pipe for exhaust and one for incoming combustion air) have been the industry standard for high efficiency furnaces and boilers for many years. Named for its isolated combustion chamber within the equipment and venting system kept sealed from indoor air, the sealed combustion venting design ensures quieter operation and greater safety, using outdoor air for the combustion process. Potential concerns about flu gas backdrafting into the home under high wind or other unusual conditions are significantly reduced.

Due to the relatively cool exhaust gas temperature (around 100-130 degrees F), PVC plastic vent pipe is frequently the specified and approved venting material for furnaces and boilers in the 90%+ AFUE efficiency range. PVC’s temperature ratings are significantly higher than the flue temperature, and it is highly resistant to corrosion, making it a good choice for handling the small amount of slightly acidic condensate water that is produced by all high efficiency gas heaters.

Stainless Steel Heat Exchanger

The Prestige Solo boiler from Triangle Tube features a 439 Grade stainless steel Fire Tube heat exchanger/burner system. In the Lennox SLP99V furnace, the secondary, condensing heat exchanger is also made of a proprietary (i.e. they won’t tell us) grade of stainless steel. In the Lennox equipment, like virtually all furnace manufacturers, the primary heat exchanger is made of high grade aluminizing steel. Stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion that could be caused by condensate; in furnaces, condensate is present only in the secondary heat exchanger.

Variable-Speed Exhaust Fan

Both units feature automatically adjusting, variable-speed exhaust fans for removing the gaseous products of the burning process to the outdoors. The speed (and noise) of the exhaust fan is precisely matched with the heat output of the furnace or boiler, maintaining optimal electrical and gas consumption efficiency, and the quietest fan operation possible.

Variable-Speed Heat Distribution

In addition to the exhaust fan, the SLP99V furnace also features an automatically adjusting, variable-speed main blower fan. This ensures the quietest, most electrically efficient, least intrusive warm air heat delivery to all parts of the home. Variable-speed furnace fans also provide the most even heating and cooling distribution around the home, and are the best bet for a replacement furnace to help alleviate (but not necessarily fully solve) temperature imbalances in a home.

While not bearing as many obvious benefits, as compared with forced air systems, the Prestige Solo boiler can accommodate a sophisticated, electrically efficient, variable-speed hot water circulator pump – or it will also work fine employing a high quality, multi-speed circulator.

Our team at Save Home Heat often opts for multi-speed pumps (manually adjustable), instead of incurring the additional expense for our customers and further complicating the system design.

Modulating Gas Valve

Both units feature a game-changing, automatically adjusting gas valve, which delivers only the precise amount of gas needed to the furnace or boiler – continuously adjusted in small increments, in real time – to satisfy the heating needs of the home. Wasted gas and heat are kept at very low levels.

Triangle Tube Solo boiler expanded view drawing

Sophisticated Solid State Controls

Both units feature proven, solid-state controls that accurately monitor furnace or boiler performance and steadily coordinate operation and performance of the units, also in real time. The combined result of these controls, and all of the above premium, well established features, is the highest efficiency and the quietest, smoothest, most comfortable heating achievable.

Installing Top-Of-The-Line High Efficiency Heating in Denver-Boulder Homes

44 Years!
With over four decades providing exceptional home comfort services to homeowners in the Boulder-Denver metro area, our team at Save Home Heat Company offers proven solutions and a wide range of high performing home heating products.

You can rely on our strong commitment to serving all of your home heating, cooling, electrical, plumbing, hot water, and indoor air quality needs with friendly, low-pressure, professional service and expert recommendations.

Please contact me to schedule service or a free install quote!

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