During professional maintenance of your heating system, your HVAC technician performs several evaluations to determine your system’s true efficiency. A combustion efficiency test is one of the critical system evaluations. Keep reading to find out what this test entails and why it’s essential for you to schedule it.
What’s a Combustion Efficiency Test?
This test measures your heating system’s effectiveness at converting fuel into usable heat. Some of the factors that it primarily considers are:
- Stack temperature — this is the temperature at which the combustion gases leave the heating appliance. It’s a reflection of the energy that wasn’t transferred to your system’s heat exchanger from the fuel. A lower stack temperature represents more effective heat transfer or heat exchanger design.
- Flue gas carbon dioxide or oxygen concentrations — an analysis of this is done to establish the right quantity of excess air required by your heating system. Excess air has to be supplied to your system to burn the fuel completely. Inadequate amounts of excess air lead to unburned combustibles, such as carbon monoxide, soot, and smoke. Too much excess air causes heat loss, which lowers your system’s efficiency.
Why is a Combustion Efficiency Test Important?
The measurements obtained from the test can help an HVAC technician make adjustments to your heating system to increase its combustion efficiency. For example, he or she can tune your boiler to reduce the excess air and stack temperature, increasing its combustion efficiency. A furnace can perform at a higher level than its rated AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) level if its excess air is controlled carefully.
Your service technician can adjust the following things to improve your heating system’s combustion process:
- Fuel pressure
- Primary air (in older furnaces)
The technician can also mechanically correct other factors that may be affecting the combustion process in your system, such as:
- a cracked heat exchanger that’s increasing excess air
- inadequate combustion air because of improper ventilation
- incorrectly placed pilot
A combustion efficiency test helps boost your heating system’s efficiency, saving you money. For more information on the test, contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors. We help homeowners in Monmouth County and the surrounding areas maximize the efficiency of their heating and cooling systems.