Would you believe more than half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? This is why it’s critical to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, calculates how effective your furnace is at transforming natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will waste 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 reduce emissions, save customers money and stimulate sustainability.
This measure is estimated 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 recommended 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 this writing, nothing, 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 you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Safford soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now 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 style of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the volume of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also will take less natural gas to generate the same rate of heat when comparing it to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The main 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.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the unit may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
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 additional parts necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The extra energy savings can often counterbalance the expense 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 switch its fan speed subject to the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to provide more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only consumes the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month on your utility bill.
The majority of variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful of 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 stay on all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is needed to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to manage that 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (low or high) is called a two-stage furnace. On the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a preferred temperature in 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 realize much better energy efficiency and consistent temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate 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 maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will flip to its high stage and run at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are capable 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 runs at reduced capacity to help maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When more warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at multiple speeds in order to keep a more accurate desired temperature within your home. Through this ability it can also help reduce energy costs as it is not constantly running on full power like many two-stage furnaces are required to do.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage of functioning 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. While in the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with B&D Air Conditioning Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our B&D Air Conditioning professionals are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Call us at 928-432-6018 to get started today!