Where you aware that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s so important 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 waste about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, the Biden Administration offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly reduce emissions, save users money and promote sustainability.
This proposal 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 recommended rule would demand 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, very little, as the proposed rule wouldn’t go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and does not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Cottonwood & Prescott soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. See 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 collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the volume of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also involves less natural gas to produce the same amount of heat when 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 the condensing option's use of 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 varies on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the extra parts required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can frequently counterbalance the expense 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 change 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 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 few 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 All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t stay on all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it requires to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is essential to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will increase 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 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. On the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain a desired temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to satisfy demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize improved energy efficiency and uniform temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all systems are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs at diminished capacity in order to sustain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will flip 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 continually.
Comparing 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 sustain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can operate at a variety of speeds in order to keep a precise 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 functioning and operate either at full power or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because 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 additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Set Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Connolly Electric & Mechanical Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Connolly Electric & Mechanical specialists 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. Connect with us at 928-251-4327 to get started today!