Would you believe more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? That’s 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 changing natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will expend about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly lower emissions, save users money and promote sustainability.
This measure is projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Reduce carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons over three decades, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would demand all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would transform nearly all the gas they use into heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself “what happens to my existing furnace”? For the time being, nothing, as the proposed rule won’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 Huffman soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Discover 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace’s exhaust gases. This decreases the amount of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also requires less natural gas to produce the same rate of heat when compared 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 that the former uses 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 should last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the extra hardware required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The extra energy savings can often counterbalance the expense of purchase, however, so in the long run, 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 regulate its fan speed dependent on the heating conditions of your home. It runs at a slower speed until there’s a temperature decrease and then ramps up to provide more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy needed to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
Most variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a few 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 stay on all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your home and the amount of energy it takes to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is essential to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to handle the 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 heating system with two settings of operating – high and low – is called a two-stage furnace. When set to the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a preferred temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to satisfy demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize enhanced energy efficiency and steady temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs at reduced capacity in order to retain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will flip to its high stage and operate at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continuously.
Contrasting 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 in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can function at several speeds in order to uphold a more accurate desired temperature within your home. As such, variable-speed furnaces offer greater savings on your utility bills, because it has more options in terms of functionality.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage of operation and operate either at full power or not at all. In other words, the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired level of comfort 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 needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Air Houston Mechanical LLC Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Air Houston Mechanical LLC professionals are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the right solution. Contact us at 832-224-3887 to get started today!