January 10, 2024
Energy saving in Oklahoma City, OK

Heating systems have come a long way from the wood burning stoves that used to warm western frontier homes. The science of residential heating how grown beyond mere effectiveness and now engineers are able to focus on efficiency. Discover the science and technology that goes into modern heating systems and how it saves you money.


Most homes around Bethany have natural gas-fueled furnaces. Modern furnaces have a minimum Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of at least 80%. However, units with the newest technology can achieve an AFUE rating of just over 98%. They also reduce the amount of energy and fuel they use thanks to the technology used in the system.

Multi-Stage and Modulating Burners

Standard furnaces operate as either being on or off. This means that no matter how much heating capacity your home needs, it’ll run on high every time the heat cycles, burning the maximum fuel the entire cycle.

High-efficiency furnaces are equipped with either multi-stage or modulating burners. Multi-stage furnaces have several settings so that the burner provides enough heating capacity to keep your home comfortable. Modulating burners have a nearly infinite variety of settings to provide exactly the heating capacity your home needs. Units with these burners tend to run nearly constantly to maintain your home’s temperature but with greatly reduced capacity.

Multi and Variable Speed Fans

Furnace fans are a lot like burners, with options that are either on or off, those with multiple speeds and those with the ability to adjust to the exact airflow your home needs. You can have a system that only has a multi or variable-speed fan but a standard single-stage burner. However, if your unit has a multi-stage or modulating burning, it’ll also have one of these improved fans.

Multiple Heat Exchangers

The heat exchanger is part of the exhaust system that conducts the exhaust from the burnt fuel up through the exhaust pipe. It’s also the part that transfers heat to the air that circulates through the system without sending exhaust into your home. Standard furnaces only have a single heat exchanger. Higher-efficiency systems may have two heat exchangers, which is part of what helps them achieve such a high efficiency.

Heat Pumps

Beyond furnaces, heat pumps can help save households a lot in their heating expenses. Rather than burning natural gas, heat pumps absorb heat from a source outside your home and bring it inside. During moderate temperatures, these offer substantially better efficiency than even high-efficiency furnaces.

Air-Sourced Heat Pumps

The most common heat pump is the air-sourced model, which has a compressing unit outside that contains a refrigerant coil. As the name indicates, this system sources heat from the air outside. The challenge with air-sourced models is that while they work incredibly well in moderate temperatures, their efficiency wanes in frigid temperatures and major snow events. During these systems, your home will need an auxiliary heating source, such as the electric resistance heater that often comes with heat pumps or a fireplace.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal systems use either the ground or a deep water source as the source for heat rather than the air outside. This allows them to continue working effectively in weather where air-sourced heat pumps struggle. However, all heat pumps produce less temperature rise than do furnaces, making them less effective and efficient during extreme winter weather or if your home is highly drafty.

Dual-Fuel Systems

Dual-fuel systems offer a unique option for heating your home that allows you to take advantage of the benefits of both furnaces and heat pumps. The heat pump will operate as your primary heating source for most of the winter. When the temperature drops and the heat pump starts struggling, the system will switch to a gas-fueled furnace. This switch is controlled by the thermostat that monitors the temperature inside and then a sensor and the control board that monitors the temperature outside.

For more than 35 years, people around Bethany have trusted the experts at TS Heat & Air for the best advice in choosing the right heating system for their homes. Our experienced technicians provide air conditioning and heating installation, maintenance and repair, including heat pumps, together with indoor air quality solutions. Contact us today.

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