Would you believe that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are from your heating and cooling? That’s why it’s critical to maintain 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 converting 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 Biden Administration revealed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save homeowners money and promote sustainability.
These revised standards are estimated 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 annually.
Starting in 2029, the updated rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would combust nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? Currently, not much, as the proposed rule won't go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and will not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if your furnace is nearing the end of its life and a replacement is needed in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Learn how these furnaces can lower your monthly energy 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the extent of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also requires less natural gas to generate the same rate of heat in comparison 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 condensing models use a secondary heat exchanger to gather 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. Usually, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, it may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Generally, condensing furnaces type of system is much more efficient than standard, single-speed furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy needed to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
The majority of 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 offer an AFUE rating of 90% or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. Alternatively, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your East Bernard home as well as the amount of energy it needs to maintain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is required to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will shift to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. Precise fan speeds offer 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 two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — high and low. On the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity to help maintain the preferred temperature for your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to meet demands for increased heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience enhanced energy efficiency and stable temperatures all across your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all all types are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the heating system will switch to its high stage and runs at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are powerful enough to help reduce energy costs without operating around the clock.
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 to help maintain a desired temperature within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can run at a variety of speeds in order to maintain a more precise temperature at home. Such precise functionality can also help reduce energy costs, as it is not constantly running on full power like many two-stage furnaces do.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage motor and operate either at full capacity or not at all. In other words, the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired temperature at home.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, have two stages of operation, low and high. While in the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with E.B. Air Today
It takes experience and dedication to stay up to date about furnace technology advancements. That’s why E.B. Air 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 979-335-4262 to get started today!