Why a High-Efficiency Furnace Needs a Concrete Floor Drain

The differences between gas furnaces manufactured today and furnaces manufactured 15, 20, and 30 years ago is nothing less than remarkable. High-efficiency furnaces are an integral part of the modern HVAC system, and they help drive better comfort, cleaner indoor air quality, improved heating safety, and substantially higher AFUE ratings. However, to reap the benefits of better safety and efficiency, you may need to install a concrete floor drain to accommodate a two-pipe vent and draining system.

Condensing Furnaces

High-efficiency furnaces are often called condensing furnaces because they produce condensation. However, unlike condensation from your AC unit, condensation from a condensing furnace can contain residue from exhaust gases. So, the condensation needs to be drained away safely from the furnace, people, and pets. That’s why a concrete floor drain is needed near where the furnace is installed.

How and Why a Furnace Produces Condensation

The benefits of upgrading to a condensing furnace from an older, less-efficient model far outweigh the inconvenience of installing a floor drain. Condensing furnaces deliver between 90 AFUE and 99 AFUE. Furnaces made 15, 20, and 30 years ago typically got only 60 to 80 AFUE.

Simply put, 60 AFUE means 60 cents of your one dollar in energy cost was successfully combusted into heat for your home. The other 40 cents of your energy dollar went up the chimney like a puff of smoke. Now, 99 AFUE means that 99 cents of your energy dollar went to home heating, while only 1 cent was exhaust waste.

This incredible leap in furnace efficiency is credited to the variable-speed blower motor, a two-stage burner, and a secondary heat exchanger that extracts so much heat from intended exhaust waste that it cools down enough to produce condensation.

Therefore, your new condensing furnace will need a two-pipe system and a concrete floor drain. One pipe is used for venting exhaust gases and the second pipe is used for draining condensation.

To speak with a professional about a high-efficiency furnace upgrade and a concrete floor drain, contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating. We serve residents in Martin County, Palm Beach County, and Indian River County.

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