Did you know more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That is the reason 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, measures 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 producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly reduce emissions, save users money and promote sustainability.
This solution 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.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? For the time being, nothing, as the proposed rule wouldn’t go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and doesn’t affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Erie 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 kind of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the extent of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also demands less natural gas to create the same amount of heat when compared 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.
The life span of a condensing furnace is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with sufficient 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 Are More Expensive
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the additional hardware required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can frequently balance out the cost 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 regulate its fan speed subject to the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then ramps up to produce more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy needed to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
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 All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t stay on all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is required to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to manage that 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. When set to the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity to help maintain a desired temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to fulfill demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience enhanced energy efficiency and uniform temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all models 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 runs 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 flip to its high stage and operate at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
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 in order to uphold a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at multiple speeds in order to uphold a more accurate desired temperature within your home. As such, variable-speed furnaces offer greater savings on your utility bills, because it has more options in terms of functionality.
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 means that the furnace will run constantly in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces 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 additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Patterson & Stirling Inc Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our Patterson & Stirling Inc professionals 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 right solution. Call us at 814-308-0416 to get started today!