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Natural Draft Vs Condensing Heating Equipment

Updated: Aug 10

Don’t underestimate the importance of having a reliable heating system. If you’re thinking about replacing your existing furnace or boiler with a condensing unit / high-efficiency boiler, here’s an overview of the differences between the two technologies.


diagram of a condensing unit/high efficiency boiler

Natural Draft Boilers and Furnaces

Since natural draft boilers and furnaces employ natural atmospheric pressure, much of the heat and exhaust gas produced by the fuel-burning process is lost when it’s expelled through the chimney or ventilation system. This continuous flow of combustion gases makes them considerably less energy efficient than condensing units. However, natural draft boilers and furnaces are cheap to manufacture because they don’t require special parts, materials or mechanisms.


Condensing / High-efficiency Boilers and Furnaces

Condensing furnaces and boilers are equipped with two large heat exchangers. These powerful components extract and divert leftover exhaust gas back into your heating system instead of letting it escape through the ventilation system. By effectively recycling this energy, condensing units can help you lower your fuel bills and reduce your carbon footprint through energy savings.


Can you Retrofit a Natural Draft Heating System?

If you’re still using a natural draft boiler or furnace, you can have it retrofitted with new parts to improve its performance. However, if it’s more than 15 years old, it may be impossible to get the same energy efficiency as you would from an entirely new unit.

Keep in mind that condensing units have an over 90 percent efficiency rating, whereas natural draft units have an efficiency rating below 70 percent.


Rely on Modern Air & Water for Your Home Heating Needs in Edmonton

If you’re in the market for a new boiler or furnace for your home and you don’t know which one to choose, the experts at Modern Air & Water can point you toward your best options. We carry a variety of heating appliances, including furnaces, hot water tanks, tankless water heaters, high-efficiency boilers and more. Our expert team also provides a range of HVAC services, including furnace cleaning as well as installation, maintenance and repairs. Contact us today for a free estimate or to learn more about our products and services.

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