Would you believe more than half of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? This is why it’s essential to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, determines how effective your furnace is at converting 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 substantially reduce emissions, save consumers money and promote 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 suggested rule would demand all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would convert 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, very little, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and will not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Circleville soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and 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 type of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the extent of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also involves less natural gas to produce the same rate of heat in comparison to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The primary difference between a condensing furnace and a non-condensing furnace is the condensing option's use of 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 varies on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, 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 equipment may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the additional hardware necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can often offset the price of purchase, however, so ultimately, it may be worth investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: The What's and How's
A variable-speed furnace can adjust its fan speed dependent on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then ramps up to produce 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, 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 operate all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is necessary to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to handle the demand. When this happens, you can expect 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 two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — low and high. In the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a preferred temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to meet demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience improved energy efficiency and consistent temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to retain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will flip to its high stage and run 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 functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity to help sustain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at multiple speeds in order to maintain a precise 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. As a result, 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. During 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 needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling, Inc Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling, Inc specialists are here to help with a free, 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. Contact us at 740-474-5940 to get started today!