Did you know more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s critical 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 changing natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save customers money and encourage sustainability.
This solution is expected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut down on 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 each year.
Starting in 2029, the suggested rule would demand all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would change nearly all the gas they use into heat.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? As of this writing, not much, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and does not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Rockford soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Learn how these furnaces can save dollars each month off your energy 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 volume of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also involves less natural gas to create the same amount of heat in comparison 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 the condensing option's use of a secondary heat exchanger to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
The life span of a condensing furnace is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, 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 unit may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Typically, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the additional hardware essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The extra energy savings can often counterbalance the expense of purchase, however, so over time, it may be worthwhile 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 switch its fan speed based on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then fires up to provide more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only utilizes the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, and thus, saves you money on your utility bill.
Many of the variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful of 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. In fact, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it requires to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is essential to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. Doing this will ensure more efficient heating and cooling in your home while also providing quieter operation.
Guide to Two-Stage Furnaces
Two-Stage Furnaces: What They Are and How They Work
A two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — low and high. When set to the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a desired temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to satisfy demands for greater warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve much better energy efficiency and consistent temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all versions 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 diminished capacity in order to retain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continuously.
Comparing 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 in order to sustain a desired level of comfort within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at a variety of speeds in order to uphold 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 functioning and operate either at full capacity or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace will run constantly in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, have two stages of operation, low and high. Within the the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Set Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling, Inc Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling, Inc specialists are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating specifications and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Connect with us at (815)914-6197 to get started today!