With energy efficiency a leading factor in the optimization of furnaces for the home, the best modern models are condensing furnaces. By capturing and condensing water vapor in the air, condensing furnaces take advantage of the tighter, more closed system that characterize modern homes and yielding ever better energy conservation. But a condensing furnace may require fine-tuning the intake and exhaust of air to balance levels of humidity in the home.
Older furnaces tend to be associated with dry home air, to the point that a comfort control expert may recommend adding a humidifier to offset the lack of moisture. In the case of modern condensing furnaces, however, the converse issue may present itself: excessive moisture in the air. One symptom of high levels of humidity that homeowners sometimes complain about is condensation on windows, for example. Could condensing furnaces do too good a job at recovering moisture, leading to runaway humidity effects?
Fortunately, the culprit is not really the condensing furnaces and the solution, well known to experts in comfort control, lies in coupling the heating system with proper ventilation. Not just any air intake and exhaust will do; a simple exhaust fan to vent moist air would waste much of the energy savings of the condensing furnace. Similarly, running a dehumidifier all winter just compounds energy usage. Homeowners benefit most from a team of seasoned comfort control specialists that can design and install the best system for air circulation and ventilation to compliment the advantages of the condensing furnace.
Not only do new and improved fresh air intakes immediately leverage the properties of the condensing furnace, but advances in the field have seen the advent of heat recovery ventilation, or HRV. In complimentary fashion to the function of the condensing furnace, the HRV cycles fresh air in while swapping out moisture, all the while preventing desirable levels of humidity from escaping the home system and undermining the gains that the condensing furnace has earned.