Did you know that more than half of your home’s energy costs are for your heating and cooling? That’s why it’s critical to maintain 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 turning natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace loses about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly decrease emissions, save money and stimulate sustainability.
These revised standards are estimated to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons over the next 25 - 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the updated rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would convert nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of now, not much, 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 your furnace is nearing the end of its life and a replacement is needed in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. Learn 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 limits the amount of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also will take less natural gas to generate the same rate of heat in comparison 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 collect any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter 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 appropriate maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Typically, condensing furnaces enhanced precision is much more efficient than standard, single-speed furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy necessary to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
Many variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful 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 depending on the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it needs to reach that temperature.
When sufficient energy is necessary to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. Precise fan speeds offer 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 two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — high and low. On the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain the chosen temperature for your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to satisfy demands for greater heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can enjoy enhanced energy efficiency and comfortable temperatures everywhere in your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs at limited capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the unit shifts 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 around the clock.
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 as a way to uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When a greater demand for 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 a variety of speeds in order to keep a more precise temperature at home. With more options for temperature settings, you also have more flexibility for heating you home and can enjoy greater savings on energy bills.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage fan speed and operate either at full capacity or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace runs constantly in order to maintain a desired level of comfort 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|reduced} capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc Today
Making sense of modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc specialists are here to help with a free, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Call us at to get started today!