Did you know more than half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? This is why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated 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 lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially reduce emissions, save consumers money and stimulate sustainability.
This solution is projected 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 proposed rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would change nearly all the gas they use into heat.
So, what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? For the time being, 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’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Lawrence soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. Discover 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 capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the amount of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also involves less natural gas to produce the same amount of heat 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 the condensing option's use of a secondary heat exchanger to gather 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 should last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Typically, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is the result of their increased efficiency and the extra components required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can frequently balance out the expense of purchase, however, so long term, it may be worthwhile 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 switch its fan speed dependent on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then increases speed 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, saving you money in the long run.
Many of the 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 be 90 AFUE or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is essential to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will shift up 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (low or high) is called a two-stage furnace. During the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a chosen temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to satisfy demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve enhanced energy efficiency and consistent temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at limited capacity in order to retain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and run at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are proven 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 in order to uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at multiple speeds in order to maintain a desired temperature more accurately 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 operation and operate either at full power or not at all. In other words, the furnace will run constantly in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home.
Two-stage furnace, in comparison, have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Scott Temperature Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Scott Temperature professionals are here to help with a free, 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. Contact us at 785-269-0465 to get started today!