Did you know that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are for your heating and cooling? This is the reason why it’s critical to secure an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated 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 loses about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government devised new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save money and stimulate sustainability.
This proposal is 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 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the updated rule would require 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"? Currently, not much, 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 already available. Learn how these furnaces can help you save on energy bills now.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a kind of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the extent of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also requires less natural gas to generate the same volume 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 condensing models use a secondary heat exchanger to collect 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 will last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, the equipment may struggle to perform as well, ultimately failing earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Usually, condensing furnaces enhanced precision is much more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only consumes the minimum amount of energy necessary to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
Many variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful 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 All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. Alternatively, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your Rockford home as well as the amount of energy it uses to maintain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is needed to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will shift to a higher speed in order to keep up with 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 operates 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 enjoy enhanced energy efficiency and comfortable temperatures everywhere in your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not stay on indefinitely. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to retain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the furnace switches to its high stage and runs at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs without operating continuously.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity as a way to sustain a desired temperature within your home. When more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can function at several speeds in order to keep a more precise temperature at home. As such, variable-speed furnaces offer greater savings on your utility bills .
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage fan speed and operate either at full power or not at all. This means that the furnace runs constantly in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at 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 full capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling Today
It takes experience and dedication to stay up to date about furnace technology advancements. That’s why Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling specialists 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 ideal solution. Get in touch with us at (815) 914-6197 to get started today!