Where you aware that more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are from your heating and cooling? That’s why it’s so important to secure an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated to an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80% in 2015. This rating system measures how effective your furnace is at natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace loses about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, President Biden proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save customers money and stimulate sustainability.
This proposal is anticipated 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 require 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"? Currently, next to nothing, as the proposed rule wouldn’t go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and will not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if your furnace is nearing the end of its life and a replacement is needed in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Learn how these furnaces can help you save on energy bills now.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a type of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This limits the quantity of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also demands less natural gas to produce the same rate of heat compared to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The primary difference between a condensing furnace and a non-condensing furnace is that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to gather any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the other does not.
Expected Longevity of a Condensing Furnace
The life span of a condensing furnace depends on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, the unit may struggle to perform as well, ultimately failing earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Typically, condensing furnaces type of system is significantly more efficient than standard, single-speed furnaces, as it only utilizes the minimum amount of energy required to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
Many variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. In order for 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 operate all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it needs to sustain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is necessary to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to manage the higher demand. This allows for more efficient heating in your home while also providing quieter operation.
Guide to Two-Stage Furnaces
Two-Stage Furnaces: What They Are and How They Work
A two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — high and low. During the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity to help maintain the desired temperature at your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to satisfy demands for greater heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can enjoy improved energy efficiency and steady temperatures everywhere in 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 won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to maintain the set temperature, the heating system shifts to its high stage and runs at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are powerful enough to help reduce energy costs without operating continuously.
Differences Between 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 as a way to 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 maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can operate at multiple speeds in order to uphold 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 motor and operate either at full power or not at all. This means that the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Two-stage furnaces, by comparison, have two stages of operation, low and high. While in the low stage, the furnace runs at [lower|reduced} capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Farnell Mechanical, Inc. Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Farnell Mechanical, Inc. professionals are here to help with a free, 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 to get started today!