Did you know more than half of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s essential to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, determines how effective your furnace is at changing 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, the U.S. government proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly reduce emissions, save consumers money and promote sustainability.
This solution is projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Reduce 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 suggested rule would require all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would transform nearly all the gas they use into heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? For the time being, very little, as the proposed rule won'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 Huntsville soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. Learn 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 collect 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 demands less natural gas to create the same volume 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 the condensing option's use of a secondary heat exchanger to capture 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 depends on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Usually, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the extra hardware essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can usually counterbalance the cost of purchase, however, so over time, 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 regulate its fan speed based on the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then fires up to supply more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only utilizes the amount of energy needed to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month on your utility bill.
Most variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some 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 run all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it requires to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is essential to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to handle the demand. This allows for 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (low or high) is called a two-stage furnace. In the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a preferred temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to satisfy demands for greater warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize much better energy efficiency and consistent temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs as it is not 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 runs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired level of comfort 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 work at a variety of speeds in order to sustain 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. This means that the furnace will be on at all times in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces 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 necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc experts are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating specifications and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Connect with us at 256-801-4701 to get started today!