Would you believe more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? That is the reason why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, measures how effective your furnace is at converting 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 substantially decrease emissions, save homeowners money and promote sustainability.
This proposal 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 suggested rule would require 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? As of now, 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 Columbus soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. See 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 curbs the extent of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also demands less natural gas to create the same volume of heat when compared 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 the condensing option's use of 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 is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may have a significantly shorter life span.
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 components essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can frequently balance out the cost of purchase, however, so in the long run, 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 change its fan speed dependent on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until it detects a temperature decrease and then fires up to provide more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than conventional 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.
Most 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 Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is necessary to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed to handle the demand. This allows for 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
A two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — low and high. On the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a preferred temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to fulfill demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve much better energy efficiency and steady temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all systems are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at diminished capacity in order to sustain 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 continually.
Differences Between 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 in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can operate 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 capacity or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because 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. During 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 change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling specialists are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating specifications and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the best solution. Call us at 614-451-0846 to get started today!