Would you believe more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, determines how effective your furnace is at turning natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will waste about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, the Biden Administration recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly lower emissions, save customers money and encourage sustainability.
This measure is expected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Lower 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 each year.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would require all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would change nearly all the gas they use into heat.
So, what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of now, very little, 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 you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Savage soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Discover 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 decreases the volume of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also involves less natural gas to produce the same rate of heat in comparison 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 the condensing option's use of a secondary heat exchanger to collect 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 varies on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the unit may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Generally, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is the result of their increased efficiency and the additional parts required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can frequently balance out the cost of purchase, however, so ultimately, it may be worth investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: What They Are and How They Work
A variable-speed furnace can adjust its fan speed dependent on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until it detects a temperature decrease and then fires up to provide more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only consumes the amount of energy needed to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
Many of the variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. To allow a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must be 90 AFUE or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run Continuously?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is needed to maintain your desired 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (low or high) is called a two-stage furnace. During the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain a chosen temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to meet demands for greater warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve enhanced energy efficiency and uniform temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs at limited capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will flip to its high stage and run at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continually.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity to help maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can operate at several speeds in order to maintain a desired temperature more accurately within your home. So, if you have more options for temperature-settings, you also have more flexibility for heating you home, which also means more savings on energy bills.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage of performance and operate either at full power or not at all. Consequently, the furnace will be on at all times in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.
Two-stage furnace, in comparison, have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning professionals are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the right solution. Contact us at 952-373-0377 to get started today!