Where you aware that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are for your heating and cooling? This is the reason why it’s critical to secure an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80% in 2015. This rating system measures how effective your furnace is at combusting 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, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly lower emissions, save customers money and encourage sustainability.
The updated standards are expected 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 each year.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would require all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would turn nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
So what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? For the time being, very little, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and does not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you need furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. Find out how these furnaces can save you money on your utility bills.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a type of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the amount of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also will take less natural gas to create the same rate 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 other does not.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, the equipment may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Usually, condensing furnaces are more require a large upfront cost than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the added components required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. However, the extra energy savings can often recoup the price of purchase. So ultimately, it may be worthwhile 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 vary its fan speed based on the heating preferences of your home. It starts at a slower speed until it notices a drop in temperature and then ramps up to produce more heat. This [precise fan is much more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy necessary to heat your home, which subsequently saves money on your utility bills.
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 Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your South Beloit and Belvidere home as well as the amount of energy it requires to maintain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is necessary to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to manage the higher demand. Doing this will ensure 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 as a way to maintain the chosen temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to meet demands for more heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience enhanced energy efficiency and consistent temperatures everywhere in your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not stay on indefinitely. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at limited capacity in order to sustain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the furnace switches to its high stage and runs at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are powerful enough to help reduce energy costs without operating continuously.
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 to help sustain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can work at multiple speeds in order to uphold 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 capacity or not at all. Consequently, the furnace runs constantly in order to maintain a desired temperature at home.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at lower capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc Today
It takes experience and dedication to stay up to date about furnace technology advancements. That’s why Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc professionals are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget before helping you find the ideal solution. Get in touch with us at 877-389-2465 to get started today!