Improvement of Seasonal Efficiency of Residential Heating Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
J. E. Janssen, U. Bonne

Honeywell Corporate Research Center, Bloomington, Minn.

J. Eng. Power 99(3), 329-333 (Jul 01, 1977) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3446491 History: Received August 04, 1976; Online July 14, 2010


Recent studies have shown the seasonal efficiency of oil-fired residential heating systems to be in the range of 55–75 percent compared to steady-state efficiency of 80 percent or greater. A digital model using measured input data was used to compute the on period flue losses, the off period flue losses and the losses due to combustion induced building infiltration. Excess capacity in existing systems and new construction is shown to increase fuel consumption but decrease electric power consumption in oil-fired warm air furnaces. Excessive furnace capacity is generally undesirable, but if the cost of electric power is high compared with the cost of fuel oil, there is an optimum amount of excess capacity. The use of outdoor air for combustion and draft control (sealed combustion system) is shown to be beneficial sometimes, but may incur a cost penalty under other conditions.

Copyright © 1977 by ASME
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