Did you know that more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are for your heating and cooling? That’s why it’s so important to secure 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 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 producing heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly reduce emissions, save homeowners money and stimulate sustainability.
This proposal is projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Lower 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 yearly.
Starting in 2029, the updated rule would require all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would turn 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, very little, as the proposed rule won't go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and does not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Find out 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the quantity of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also demands less natural gas to produce the same volume of heat when comparing one 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 gather any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Typically, condensing furnaces enhanced precision is significantly more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only utilizes the minimum amount of energy required to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
Most variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful 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 operate all the time. Alternatively, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it uses to sustain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is required to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to manage the higher demand. Precise fan speeds offer 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (high or low) is called a two-stage furnace. On the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity to help maintain the preferred temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to meet demands for more heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience greater energy efficiency and balanced temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all all types are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the unit will switch to its high stage and runs at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are powerful enough to help reduce energy costs without operating around the clock.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity to help uphold a desired temperature within your home. When a greater demand for 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 keep a comfortable temperature at home. As such, variable-speed furnaces offer greater savings on your utility bills .
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage fan speed and operate either at full capacity or not at all. As a result, the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired temperature at home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces 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 more warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. Today
Making sense of modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. specialists 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 ideal solution. Call us at to get started today!