Where you aware that more than half of your home’s energy costs are for your heating and cooling? This is why it’s essential to secure an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80% in 2015. This rating system calculates how effective your furnace is at combusting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace loses about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save consumers money and stimulate sustainability.
The updated standards are projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Lower 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 annually.
Starting in 2029, the updated rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would turn nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? For the time being, next to nothing, 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 are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. Find out 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the amount of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also requires less natural gas to generate the same amount of heat when comparing one 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 collect 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 depends on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, the unit may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Typically, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the additional components needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. However, the added energy savings can often offset the price of purchase. So long term, it may be worth 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 fine-tune its fan speed to minimize the energy necessary to satisfy the heating requirements of your home. It operates at a slower speed until it notices a drop in temperature and then ramps up to produce more heat. This [precise fan is much more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only utilizes the minimum amount of energy required to heat your home, which subsequently saves money on your utility bills.
The majority of variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful 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 Nonstop?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your Cambridge home as well as the amount of energy it requires to sustain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is required to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. Doing this will ensure more efficient heating 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. When set to the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain the chosen temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead function at peak capacity to meet demands for increased heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can enjoy enhanced energy efficiency and steady temperatures all across your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all all types are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs at limited capacity in order to sustain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the heating system switches to its high stage and runs at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are powerful enough to help reduce energy costs without operating continuously.
Contrasting 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 maintain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can function at a variety of speeds in order to sustain 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. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired temperature within your 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 a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Pliescott HVAC Services LLC Today
It takes experience and dedication to stay up to date about furnace technology advancements. That’s why Pliescott HVAC Services LLC specialists are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget before helping you find the best solution. Get in touch with us at 410-228-4822 to get started today!