Did you know that more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are for your heating and cooling? This is the reason why it’s essential to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80% in 2015. This rating system calculates how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace will waste about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government revealed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save customers money and encourage sustainability.
These revised standards are expected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Reduce carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons over the next 25 - 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit annually.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would convert nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? For the time being, not much, as the proposed rule wouldn’t go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and doesn’t affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you need furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. Find out how these furnaces can save you money on your utility bills.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a type of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the extent of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also requires less natural gas to generate the same amount of heat compared to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The main difference between a condensing furnace and a non-condensing furnace is that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
Expected Longevity of a Condensing Furnace
The life span of a condensing furnace will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, the equipment may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
For the most part, condensing furnaces type of system is a lot more efficient than standard, single-speed furnaces, as it only utilizes the minimum amount of energy required to heat your home, which subsequently saves money on your utility bills.
The majority of variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. If a manufacturer wants a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must offer an AFUE rating of 90% or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run Nonstop?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Alternatively, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your Cache Valley home as well as the amount of energy it uses to sustain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is demanded to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will shift to a higher speed to handle the demand. This allows for more efficient heating in your home while also offering quieter operation.
Guide to Two-Stage Furnaces
Two-Stage Furnaces: What They Are and How They Work
A heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. During the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity to help maintain the preferred temperature at your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead operate at full capacity to meet demands for greater heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can enjoy improved energy efficiency and stable temperatures all across your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not stay on indefinitely. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to retain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to reach the set temperature, the furnace switches to its high stage and operates at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs without operating continuously.
Comparing Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace works at reduced capacity to help uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can run at multiple speeds in order to sustain a comfortable temperature at home. Such precise functionality can also help reduce energy costs, as it is not constantly running on full power like many two-stage furnaces do.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage of operation and operate either at full capacity or not at all. Consequently, the furnace runs constantly in order to maintain a desired level of comfort at home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. While in the low stage, the furnace runs at lower capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Western Mechanical, Inc. Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Western Mechanical, Inc. professionals are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget before helping you find the best solution. Call us at 435-753-5515 to get started today!