Would you believe more than half of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? This is why it’s critical to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, measures how effective your furnace is at transforming 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, the U.S. government proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly lower emissions, save consumers money and encourage sustainability.
This proposal is anticipated to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Lower carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons over 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would require all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would convert nearly all the gas they use into heat.
So, what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of this writing, nothing, as the proposed rule will not 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 Marshalltown soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already 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 style of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the amount of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also requires less natural gas to generate the same amount of heat in comparison 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 the condensing option's use of a secondary heat exchanger to gather 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. Usually, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Typically, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the extra hardware necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can frequently counterbalance the price 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 switch its fan speed dependent on the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to supply more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy required 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. 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. Rather, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it requires to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is needed to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. Doing this will ensure 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. On the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain a desired temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to meet demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize improved energy efficiency and consistent temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all systems are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to retain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are capable 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 to help maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional 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 sustain 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 functioning and operate either at full capacity or not at all. In other words, the furnace will be on at all times in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Two-stage furnace, in comparison, have two stages of operation, low and high. Within the 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 needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with B & G HVAC Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our B & G HVAC professionals are here to help with a free, 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 right solution. Connect with us at 641-316-3360 to get started today!