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Basics & Theory

Builder Magazine: Furnaces of 19th & 20th Centuries
Builder Magazine describes technological advancements in heating systems from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s.
Information Sources

NRCan: Resource Site On Residential Furnaces
NRCan provides information and resources on energy efficient residential furnaces.
Issues & Performance

BC Gov: Energy Efficiency Regulations For Gas & Propane Furnaces
BC Ministry of Energy Mines - Energy Efficiency Standards Regulation requirement states that as of January 1st, 2015 gas-fired forced air furnaces, other than furnaces for recreational vehicles and replacement furnaces in pre-existing residential dwellings, for use with propane and natural gas having an input rating less than 65.9kW must have a minimum AFUE of 92 per cent. (PDF)

David R: Most Dangerous HVAC Installation Allowed by Code
David R's Blog describes the most dangerous HVAC installation allowed by code, the practice of common venting a fan assisted 80% furnace with a natural draft water heater.

Energy Vanguard: Does Gas Furnace Dry Out Air In A Home?
Energy Vanguard discusses when and how a certain type of furnace any dry out air in a home.

Energy Vanguard: When Is a High-Efficiency Furnace Not?
Energy Vanguard says unlike air conditioners and heat pumps, furnaces use two sources of energy. The fuel that it burns is the obvious one, as it's usually natural gas or propane. The other is the electricity that runs the blower. And that's the key to finding a high efficiency furnace that truly operates at high efficiency.

HVAC School: Fan (Blower) Efficacy
HVAC School says fan efficacy is simply the CFM output of the system divided by the wattage used by the blower. It is only for the blower motor and has nothing to do with the other components when done properly.

HVAC School: Heat Exchanger Crack Diagnosis
HVAC School says heat exchanger cracks are worth finding but they aren't the most dangerous issue for your customers in most cases.

LBL: Forced Air Cabinet Leakage & Blower Performance
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory project evaluated the air leakage and electric power consumption of Residential HVAC components, with a particular focus on air leakage of furnace cabinets. (PDF)

NRCan: Change to Compliance of Furnace Fan Energy Ratings
NRCan is no longer proposing a prescriptive path for demonstrating compliance to the standards for fan energy rating for gas, oil-fired and electric furnaces.

PHCP Pros: DOE Considers New Furnace Test Procedure
PHCP Pros says the US Department of Energy has published and is taking comments on a petition asking them to develop a new, unified test procedure for residential furnaces.

RESNET: Guidelines for Combustion Safety Testing
US Residential Energy Services Network guidelines describe their standards for completing combustion appliance testing and writing a work scope as part of a comprehensive home energy retrofit. The guidelines cover gas leakage testing, worst case depressurization test, carbon monoxide testing, and work scopes for contractors. (PDF)

RESNET: What To Look For In Energy Efficient Furnace
US Residential Energy Services Network describes key things to look for when selecting and energy efficient furnace.

Technical Safety BC: Cracked Heat Exchanger Leads to High CO Levels in Home
Technical Safety BC says a cracked heat exchanger and unsecured vent piping led to high CO levels in a home. A contractor found that the heat exchanger had a hole in it and the vent piping was not glued securely to the concentric vent kit.

US DOE: Gas Furnace Performance: A Field & Laboratory Study At End Of Life
US Department of Energy report Improving Gas Furnace Performance: A Field and Laboratory Study at End of Life provides results of nine furnaces, with 15 to 24 years of field service, that were removed from Iowa homes and tested in the lab under four conditions to determine the effects of installation practices, field operating conditions, and age on efficiency. (PDF)

Building America: Air Seal HVAC Cabinet Seams
Building America Solution Center describes how to seal seams and holes in the air handler or furnace cabinet of central forced air HVAC systems to prevent the loss of conditioned air.

Ecolighten: Importance Of Furnace Commissioning
Mechanical Business magazine article by Ecolighten titled The Importance of Furnace Commissioning says although proper equipment selection and installation get much of the performance credit, it's the commissioning side of a high-efficiency furnace that is often overlooked to ensure a system is operating at its peak. (PDF)

Ecolighten: Maximizing Replacement Furnace Performance
Ecolighten article from Mechanical Business summarizes their FortisBC-funded research into high efficiency furnace installations, with an aim of learning what can be done to maximize the performance of a system. They list of some of the system and design considerations that can help optimize energy efficiency, while delivering comfort and maximizing equipment longevity, when installing a high-efficiency furnace in a retrofit up-flow application. (PDF)

Energy Vanguard: How Replacing A Furnace Can Make You Less Comfortable
Energy Vanguard says if you're getting a new furnace, ask the HVAC companies you get bids from how they're planning to size the new system.

GBA:How Replacing A Furnace Can Make You Less Comfortable
Green Building Advisor describes how upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace can make you less comfortable.

HVAC School: Furnace Air Temperature Rise
HVAC School says air temperature rise is the difference between the temperature of the return and the heated supply air from the furnace. Temperature rise must be measured during installation and must be within the range on the furnace rating plate. This is important not only for the longevity of the furnace but also for customer comfort.

Mechanical Business: Optimizing Furnace Installs
Mechanical Business Magazine provides some tips for optimizing furnace installs. (PDF)

NRCan: Maintaining Your Furnace
NRCan online video describes how maintaining your furnace can be an effective way of reducing energy consumption.

Rochester: Sequencing Electrical Process Of Gas Furnace
Rochester Heating & Air online video describes how to sequence the electrical process of a gas-fired furnace.

Technical Safety BC: Annual Servicing For Gas Furnaces, Boilers DHW, Fireplaces
Technical Safety BC online checklists describe regular service and maintenance items for gas fired appliances. (PDF)

US DOE: Air Handler Closet Retrofit
US Department of Energy describes how to create or modify an air-sealed closet to contain the air handler and the return air plenum. The return air plenum must be air sealed so that the only air that enters the plenum is air coming from the house through the filter-backed grille.

US DOE: Combustion Furnaces Installation Guidance
Building America online Solution Center describes combustion furnaces with compliance and installation guidance.

Furnace Compare: Electric Furnaces
Furnace Compare describes components of an electric furnace costs, tips on buying a new one, and an overview of the installation process.

CEE: Search For High Efficiency Residential Natural Gas Furnaces
Consortium for Energy Efficiency online searchable directory helps you find high efficiency residential gas furnaces based on a wide range of criteria.

Fortis BC: High-Efficiency Furnace Installation Guide for Existing Homes
Fortis BC online High-Efficiency Furnace Installation Guide for Existing Homes is a resource for contractors and homeowners on general information on best practices for quality installations in high-efficiency replacement furnace applications. (PDF)

HPAC Magazine: Top Five New Residential Gas Furnace Tests
HPAC Magazine says we owe it to our customers and to the environment to be sure that newly installed gas appliances will operate at peak efficiency.

HVAC School: Condensate Drainage in High Efficiency Gas Furnace
HVAC School describes how to plan and install condensate drainage in a high efficiency gas furnace.

US DOE: Achieving Best Performance From High-Efficiency Residential Gas Furnaces
US Department of Energy report Achieving the Best Installed Performance from High-Efficiency Residential Gas Furnaces, identifies installation practices that provide the best installed efficiency for residential gas furnaces, explains how AFUE and field efficiency can differ, and investigates the impact of installation practices on the efficiency and long-term durability of the furnace. (PDF)

US DOE: Gas Furnace Performance: A Field & Laboratory Study At End Of Life
US Department of Energy report Improving Gas Furnace Performance: A Field and Laboratory Study at End of Life provides results of nine furnaces, with 15 to 24 years of field service, that were removed from Iowa homes and tested in the lab under four conditions to determine the effects of installation practices, field operating conditions, and age on efficiency. (PDF)

US DOE: Improving Field Performance Of Natural Gas Furnaces
US Department of Energy study Improving the Field Performance of Natural Gas Furnaces shows that an improvement of 6.4% in efficiency is achievable when good installation and tuning practices are followed, and that furnace efficiency does not degrade over the useful life of the furnace if the proper operating conditions are maintained. (PDF)

US DOE: Installing High Efficiency Natural Gas Furnaces In Retrofit
US Department of Energy Measure Guideline: High Efficiency Natural Gas Furnaces covers installation of high-efficiency gas furnaces, including: when to install a high-efficiency gas furnace as a retrofit measure; how to identify and address risks; and steps to be used in the selection and installation process. (PDF)

US DOE: Overview Of Oil-Fired Boilers & Furnaces
US Department of Energy provides an overview of oil-fired boilers and furnaces.
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