Did you know more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That is the reason why it’s essential 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 transforming natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly reduce emissions, save consumers money and stimulate sustainability.
This measure is estimated 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 mandate all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would transform nearly all the gas they use into heat.
So, what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of now, 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’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Kearney 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 collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the amount of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also demands less natural gas to create the same volume of heat when comparing it 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 the condensing option's use of a secondary heat exchanger to capture 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 varies on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the additional parts needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can often counterbalance the cost of purchase, however, so ultimately, it may be worth 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 change its fan speed dependent on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until it detects a temperature decrease and then ramps up to produce more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only consumes the amount of energy needed to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month on your utility bill.
Many of the 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 be 90 AFUE or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is essential to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed to handle the 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. On the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to 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 much better energy efficiency and uniform temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all systems 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 performs at diminished capacity in order to maintain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continually.
Differences Between Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace works at reduced capacity as a way to uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at several speeds in order to maintain a more accurate desired temperature 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 performance and operate either at full power or not at all. In other words, the furnace will be on at all times 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 more warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning experts are here to help with a complimentary, 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 best solution. Connect with us at 308-624-3485 to get started today!