Where you aware that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That is the reason why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, measures how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, the Biden Administration recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly decrease emissions, save homeowners money and encourage sustainability.
This solution is expected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut down on carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons over 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the recommended rule would require all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would change nearly all the gas they use into heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of this writing, very little, as the proposed rule won't go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and will not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Auburn and Opelika soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. See how these furnaces can help you save on energy bills now.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a style of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the extent of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also will take less natural gas to produce the same rate of heat when compared to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The biggest 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.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace varies on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Typically, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the additional components needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can often balance out the expense of purchase, however, so over time, it may be worthwhile investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: What Are They and How Do They Operate
A variable-speed furnace can regulate its fan speed dependent on the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until it detects a temperature decrease and then ramps up to provide more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only consumes the amount of energy required to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
Most variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful of are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. In order for a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must be 90 AFUE or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it requires to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is required to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to handle the demand. When this happens, you can expect more efficient heating and cooling 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. On the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to meet demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience enhanced energy efficiency and consistent temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all systems are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs at diminished capacity in order to maintain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity to help sustain a desired temperature within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at a variety of speeds in order to uphold a more accurate desired temperature within your home. Through this ability it can also help reduce energy costs as it is not constantly running on full power like many two-stage furnaces are required to do.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage of functioning and operate either at full capacity or not at all. In other words, the furnace will be on at all times in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Two-stage furnace, in comparison, have two stages of operation, low and high. Within the the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Farnell Mechanical, Inc. Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Farnell Mechanical, Inc. professionals are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating specifications and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the right solution. Connect with us at 334-524-2458 to get started today!