Pulse Combustion Furnaces
Pulse combustion furnaces are completely different from conventional or even energy efficient furnaces. Pulse combustion, recognized as one of the most efficient ways to burn gas, is almost more like an internal combustion engine than a traditional furnace.
Gas and air are drawn into a combustion chamber and ignited by an electronic spark. Between 60 and 70 pulses of the air/gas mixture are ignited per second producing rapid burning and a pressurized pulse. Once started, the process becomes self-perpetuating and it no longer requires the spark ignition.
The very hot exhaust from the pulses travels away from the combustion chamber through a tailpipe-like heat exchanger. The main advantage of the pulse combustion process is the turbulence of the byproducts of combustion, which increases heat transfer and improves energy efficiency. And, like other energy efficient furnaces, the exhaust gases are cool enough to vent through a side wall, which can eliminate the need for a chimney and allow you to locate the furnace almost anywhere.
Because they're so efficient, pulse furnaces cost a lot less to operate than conventional furnaces. AFUE ratings range between 90% and 97%, meaning that almost no energy is wasted.
Of course, pulse furnaces cost more than standard furnaces and installation is more complicated, so be sure to use an experienced installer. Also, be aware that the pulse combustion process is a bit louder than a more traditional burner. Mufflers and insulation reduce the noise, but don't totally eliminate it, therefore you should take noise into account when deciding whether to purchase and where to locate the unit.