Low NOx Furnaces

If you think it’s about time to replace your furnace, you’re probably doing a lot of research on costs, features, and installation companies. But for homeowners in the Riverside, CA area, you’ll need to investigate a little deeper. Due to new regulations in our area, any new furnace must be considered an ultra-low NOx unit. You might be thinking “…a… what?” Don’t worry – our expert team here at Sheldon’s will guide you!

What is NOx?

NOx is a shortened term for a combination of the elements Nitrogen and Oxygen. The EPA has research that indicates NOx is a major contributor to creating ozone. 

Most southern California residents know the rest. Ozone turns into smog, and smog isn’t good for anyone. That dirty, dusty air can cause breathing problems and itchy eyes. Not to mention that smog has a long-term impact on our planet.  

So, what does this have to do with your heater?

NOx and Furnaces

Up until 2019, NOx was a byproduct of furnace operation. Essentially, that means that one of the gases that furnaces give off – as a result of their operation – is a nitrogen oxide compound. 

To help you understand, here is an example. Furnaces work similarly to a gas stove. A turn of the knob opens the gas valve, while you engage a starter to create a spark. When the gas hits the spark, you get a flame. 

This exact process happens inside your furnace. In the industry, we call this combustion. 

Anytime that combustion happens inside the furnace, a small amount of nitrogen gas is released. Then, that nitrogen naturally attaches to oxygen that is in the surrounding air. The result? That pesky NOx. 

Low NOx Furnace

NOx isn’t the only resulting compound from heating your home. There are many combustion gases from furnace operation.  But the fact is, even small traces of NOx can harm our environment. That’s why our local government has implemented a rule that any new furnace must produce a very small amount of the NOx gas. 

What the Low NOx Law Says

Most of the LA area is regulated by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD). The SCAQMD has many rules regarding the NOx compound. Specifically for furnaces, as of October 1, 2019, any furnace sold must meet the requirement for ultra-low NOx. Furnaces that are offered for sale, supplied, sold, or installed must emit less than 14 nanograms per Joule of NOx. 

In short: Riverside and San Bernardino homeowners should be shopping for furnaces labeled low NOx.

Furnace Replacement Options

How do you know if it’s time to replace your furnace? Truthfully, you should have an expert come and inspect your heater. It’s possible that a simple repair can extend the life of your unit. But there are some indicators that your furnace is at the end of its life: 

  • Your Furnace is Over 15 Years Old – Furnaces can last for 20 years or longer…. IF they have been maintained on an annual basis. If you haven’t had regular maintenance, the lifespan of your heater will be shorter.  
  • Not Heating Your Home – First and foremost, your heating system should heat. So if you find that your furnace is running but you are still cold in your home, that’s a red flag you shouldn’t ignore.
  • Heating Costs Too High – If you’re seeing sky-high utility bills, your aging furnace could be the culprit. Modern furnaces are extremely efficient and can drastically reduce your energy bill. 

If you do decide it’s time for a new furnace, make sure you only search for low NOx systems. Make sure the unit you’re researching complies with the requirements of the Southern California AQMD.  

Get a Low NOx Furnace from Sheldon’s Heating & Air Conditioning

Here at Sheldon’s, we are partnered with industry leader Carrier. Carrier has completed intensive research & development on their furnaces and recently launched the  Infinity Ultra Low-NOx furnace. 

This heater meets all of the local law requirements for low NOx emissions. As an added bonus, the Infinity Ultra-Low NOx furnace has many modern features like variable fan speed. These features are not only good for your comfort but they are good for the environment, too.  

The Riverside, CA Low NOx furnace specialists at Sheldon’s Heating & Air Conditioning will provide a no-obligation consultation to homeowners in the Inland Empire. Call today: (877) 411-9888