Would you believe more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That is the reason why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, measures how effective your furnace is at turning natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save customers money and encourage sustainability.
This solution is anticipated to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Reduce 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 proposed rule would require all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would change nearly all the gas they use into heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of this writing, nothing, 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 Newton soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Discover 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the extent of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also involves less natural gas to create the same rate of heat compared 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 latter does not.
Expected Longevity of a Condensing Furnace
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 appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Generally, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the additional hardware needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The extra energy savings can often balance out the expense of purchase, however, so ultimately, it may be worthwhile investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: What Are They and How Do They Operate
A variable-speed furnace can adjust its fan speed dependent on the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then fires up to provide more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy needed to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
Many of the variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful of are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. In order for a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must be 90 AFUE or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it requires to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is necessary to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to manage that demand. This allows for more efficient heating and cooling in your home while also offering 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 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 additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve enhanced energy efficiency and steady temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run 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 preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and run at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
Comparing 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 to help sustain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can operate at several speeds in order to keep a desired temperature more accurately within your home. Through this ability it can also help reduce energy costs as it is not constantly running on full power like many two-stage furnaces are required to 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. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace will be on at all times in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your 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 a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Brookwood Inc Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Brookwood Inc experts are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Connect with us at 641-316-9803 to get started today!