Did you know that more than one-half 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 calculates how effective your furnace is at turning 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, the Biden Administration revealed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly reduce emissions, save customers money and promote sustainability.
The updated standards are estimated 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 each year.
Starting in 2029, the updated rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would combust 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 won't go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and doesn’t affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. Find out how these furnaces can save you money on your utility bills.
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 reduces the amount of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also will take less natural gas to produce the same amount of heat compared 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 collect 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 should 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 Require a Higher Investment
For the most part, condensing furnaces are more cost most to install than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the added components needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. However, the extra energy savings can help cover the cost of purchase. So over time, it may be more cost efficient to consider investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: What Are They and How Do They Work?
A variable-speed furnace can fine-tune its fan speed to minimize the energy necessary to satisfy the heating preferences of your home. It runs at a slower speed until it senses a drop in temperature and then speeds up to supply more heat. This [precise fan is significantly more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only utilizes the minimum amount of energy needed to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
Many variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a few 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 All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t need to stay on all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it uses to maintain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is necessary to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to handle the 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 heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. During the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain the preferred temperature at your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead function at peak capacity to satisfy demands for greater heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience improved energy efficiency and steady temperatures throughout 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 does not stay on indefinitely. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the heating system shifts to its high stage and operates at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are able 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 performs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can work at multiple speeds in order to sustain a more precise 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 capacity or not at all. As a result, the furnace runs constantly in order to maintain a desired temperature within your 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 a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Cooler Tymes LLC Today
Making sense of modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Cooler Tymes LLC professionals are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Call us at to get started today!