Did you know more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? This is why it’s critical to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, measures how effective your furnace is at turning natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will expend about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, President Biden proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly lower emissions, save customers money and encourage sustainability.
This solution is expected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut down on 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 demand all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would transform nearly all the gas they use into heat.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? As of now, not much, 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 Narvon soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. Learn how these furnaces can save dollars each month off your energy bills.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a style of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the volume of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also requires less natural gas to produce the same rate of heat 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 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 will depend on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with appropriate 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 Cost More
Generally, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the additional components necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can often balance out the expense of purchase, however, so ultimately, it may be worth 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 change its fan speed dependent on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then fires up to produce more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only utilizes the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, and thus, saves you money on your utility bill.
The majority of variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful of 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 Continuously?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t stay on all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is required to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed to manage that demand. This allows for 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. On the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a preferred temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to fulfill demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience much better energy efficiency and uniform temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely 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 limited capacity in order to retain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
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 to help maintain a desired temperature within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at multiple speeds in order to keep a more accurate desired temperature within your home. So, if you have more options for temperature-settings, you also have more flexibility for heating you home, which also means more savings on energy bills.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage of performance and operate either at full power or not at all. In other words, the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired temperature 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 a greater demand for warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Ameri-Tec Mechanical Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Ameri-Tec Mechanical experts are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the best solution. Contact us at 717-479-4950 to get started today!