Where you aware that more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s essential to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, determines how effective your furnace is at changing natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will waste about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly reduce emissions, save consumers money and encourage sustainability.
This measure 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 require 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, very little, as the proposed rule wouldn’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 New Castle soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Learn how these furnaces can save dollars each month off your 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 volume of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also involves less natural gas to create the same rate of heat when compared 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 that the former uses 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 is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Generally, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the extra parts required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can often counterbalance the price of purchase, however, so ultimately, it may be worth investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: What Are They and How Do They Operate
A variable-speed furnace can adjust its fan speed dependent on the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then ramps up to supply more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only consumes 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 a handful of 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 All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is essential 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 heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. On the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity to help maintain a desired temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to fulfill demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience much better energy efficiency and consistent temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all systems are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at diminished capacity in order to retain a planned 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. As such, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continually.
Comparing 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 sustain a desired level of comfort within your home. When more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at several speeds in order to maintain 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 capacity or not at all. In other words, the furnace will be on at all times 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. While in 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 desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Set Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Central Heating & Plumbing Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Central Heating & Plumbing experts are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating specifications and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Connect with us at 724-401-1843 to get started today!