Do High-Efficiency Furnaces Still Need a Floor Drain?

According to the Department of Energy, operating the average furnace will represent about half of your monthly utility bill. That’s a lot. 

If you’re looking for ways to make your home more efficient, the most obvious place to start looking is at your heating system. If you haven’t replaced your furnace in a few years, or worse, haven’t had it cleaned and maintained in a few years, there are a lot of ways you can improve efficiency. 

Do High-Efficiency Furnaces Still Need a Floor Drain?
Floor drain in kitchen room

When HVAC technicians talk “efficiency”, what they really mean is how well your furnace system converts the energy from the fuel source into warm, comfortable air. 

Depending on how old your furnace is will determine efficiency. AFUE – annualized fuel utilization efficiency – is a measure of how efficient the furnace is at converting fuel to heat over the course of a single year. Older systems may be operating at 56 to 70 AFUE, while today’s modern systems can run as high as 98.5 percent. 

High efficiency furnaces extract heat from combustion gas through a second heat exchanger. This gas is largely water vapor that cools as the air supply blows across the heat exchanger. As it condenses, it moves back to its liquid state, and is sent to a drain on the floor. 

Depending on the home, where the HVAC equipment is located, and how much room is available, HVAC technicians will use a variety of methods when installing a high efficiency furnace for the first time. Sometimes they will pipe condensation through a drain pipe to a nearby bathroom, or connect with a plumbing drain pipe. This isn’t the most effective approach, and can lead to problems down the road. 

Whether you’ve recently moved to using high efficiency equipment, or are considering installing a new one this year, ensure your furnace is installed correctly and is properly maintained throughout the year. 

A floor drain is the ideal way to get rid of condensation. If you have any questions about your set up, we’re here to help. Give us a call today. 

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