Would you believe that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are from your heating and cooling? This is why it’s so important to maintain an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80% in 2015. This rating system illustrates how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace will waste about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden devised new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save homeowners money and encourage sustainability.
This proposal is expected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Lower 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 yearly.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would demand all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would convert nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to 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 already available. Find out 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 decreases the amount of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also demands less natural gas to generate the same rate of heat when comparing one 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 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 will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If you put off scheduled maintenance, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
For the most part, condensing furnaces are more cost most to install than non-condensing furnaces. This is on account of their increased efficiency and the extra components necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. However, the bonus energy savings can often cover the cost of purchase. So long term, it may be worth investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: What You Need to Know
A variable-speed furnace can fine-tune its fan speed based on the heating requirements of your home. It operates at a slower speed until it detects a drop in temperature and then speeds up to generate more heat. This [precise fan is a lot more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy necessary to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
Many variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a few 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 run all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it uses to reach that temperature.
When sufficient energy is demanded to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to handle the 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. In the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead function at peak capacity to meet demands for greater heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience enhanced energy efficiency and balanced temperatures everywhere in your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not stay on indefinitely. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to sustain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional energy is needed to maintain the set temperature, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operates at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs without operating around the clock.
Differences Between 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 in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home. When more 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 several speeds in order to keep a desired temperature more consistently 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 power or not at all. As a result, the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired temperature at home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. While in the low stage, the furnace runs at [lower|reduced} capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Booneville Heating & Cooling Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Booneville Heating & Cooling professionals are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget before helping you find the best solution. Get in touch with us at to get started today!