Would you believe that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are needed for your heating and cooling? This is why it’s so important 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 illustrates 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 devised new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly reduce emissions, save money and promote sustainability.
The updated standards are anticipated to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons over three decades, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit yearly.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would demand all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would convert nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
So what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of now, next to nothing, as the proposed rule wouldn’t go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and does 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. Find out how these furnaces can lower your monthly energy bills.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a kind of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the quantity of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also demands less natural gas to create the same rate of heat when comparing one 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 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 will depend on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, it may struggle to perform as well, ultimately failing earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Usually, condensing furnaces type of system is significantly more efficient than standard, single-speed furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy needed to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
The majority of 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 Constantly?
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 needs to sustain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is required to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed in order to keep up with 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (high or low) is called a two-stage furnace. During the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain the preferred temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead operate at full capacity to satisfy demands for more heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can maintain greater energy efficiency and steady temperatures all across your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all all types are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not stay on indefinitely. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at diminished capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the furnace shifts to its high stage and operates at full capacity. As a result, 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 functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace works at reduced capacity to help maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can function at multiple speeds in order to sustain a comfortable temperature at home. With more options for temperature settings, you also have more flexibility for heating you home and can enjoy greater savings on energy bills.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage of operation and operate either at full power or not at all. In other words, the furnace runs constantly in order to maintain a desired comfort level at home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During 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.
Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Mayeuxs AC & Heating Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Mayeuxs AC & Heating experts are here to help with a free, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Contact us at to get started today!