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 essential 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 calculates how effective your furnace is at natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace wastes about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, the Biden Administration revealed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save homeowners money and encourage sustainability.
These revised standards are projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut 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 yearly.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would demand all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would combust 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, 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 you are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. Learn how these furnaces can save you money on your utility 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This limits the quantity of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also will take less natural gas to create the same amount of heat when 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 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 depends on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If you put off scheduled maintenance, the unit may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Typically, condensing furnaces type of system is much more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy needed to heat your home, which subsequently saves money on your utility bills.
Most 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 run all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your Norco and St. Charles Parish home as well as the amount of energy it needs to maintain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is needed to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will shift to a higher speed to handle the demand. Precise fan speeds offer 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (high or low) is called a two-stage furnace. In the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity to help maintain the chosen temperature at your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead operate at full capacity to meet demands for greater heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can maintain enhanced energy efficiency and comfortable temperatures all across your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all all models 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 operates at diminished 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. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs without operating constantly.
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 performs at reduced capacity in order to uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can work at a variety of speeds in order to sustain 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 of operation and operate either at full capacity or not at all. As a result, 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. While in the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Mayeuxs AC & Heating Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Mayeuxs AC & Heating professionals 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 right solution. Get in touch with us at (985) 764-2426 to get started today!