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Information Sources

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

BCSA: Cracked Heat Exchanger Leads to High CO Levels in Home
BC Safety Authority 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.

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.

David R: NOx Inserts & Heat Exchanger Failure
David R describes issues and considerations around NOx inserts and heat exchanger failure.

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.

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)

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.

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)
Procedures

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

DavidR Blog: Take Static Pressure Readings One Step Further
David R Blog describes how to use static pressure measurements to determine potential issues on the airside of an HVAC system.

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.

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.

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.
Gas

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.

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)
Oil

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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