Where you aware that more than half of your home’s energy costs are from your heating and cooling? This is the reason why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated to an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80% in 2015. This rating system calculates how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace wastes about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save money and stimulate sustainability.
These revised standards are projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Lower 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 yearly.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would demand all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would turn nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of now, next to nothing, 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 are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. Learn how these furnaces can save you money on your utility 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 capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the quantity of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also demands less natural gas to generate the same amount of heat 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 other does not.
The life span of a condensing furnace depends on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, the equipment may struggle to perform as well, ultimately failing earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Typically, condensing furnaces type of system is a lot more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy needed to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
Many variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. If a manufacturer wants a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must offer an AFUE rating of 90% or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run Nonstop?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t need to stay on all the time. Alternatively, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your Erie home as well as the amount of energy it uses to sustain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is required to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to manage the higher demand. Precise fan speeds offer more efficient heating in your home while also providing 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 runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature at your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead operate at full capacity to satisfy demands for greater heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can enjoy greater energy efficiency and steady temperatures all across your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not stay on indefinitely. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional energy is needed to reach the set temperature, the furnace shifts to its high stage and runs at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are powerful enough to help reduce energy costs without operating constantly.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired level of comfort within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can work at a variety of speeds in order to keep a comfortable temperature at home. As such, variable-speed furnaces offer greater savings on your utility bills .
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. In other words, the furnace is always running 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 the desired temperature more efficiently. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Patterson & Stirling Today
Making sense of modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Patterson & Stirling experts are here to help with a no-obligation, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Get in touch with us at 814-308-0416 to get started today!