Where you aware that more than half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That is the reason why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, measures how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will waste about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, President Biden proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially reduce emissions, save users money and stimulate sustainability.
This measure is 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 the next 25 - 30 years, 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.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? As of this writing, not much, 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 Columbia 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 kind of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the extent of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also will take less natural gas to generate the same volume of heat in comparison to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The biggest 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.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace depends on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Generally, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is on account of their increased efficiency and the extra parts needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The extra energy savings can usually balance out the expense of purchase, however, so in the long run, 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 performs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then ramps up to supply more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only utilizes the amount of energy required to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
Most variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. To allow 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. Instead, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is needed to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed to manage that 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 two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a chosen temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to meet demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve enhanced energy efficiency and consistent temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all versions 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 reduced capacity in order to sustain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will flip to its high stage and operate at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continuously.
Contrasting 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 in order to uphold a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can function at several speeds in order to keep 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 performance and operate either at full power or not at all. As a result, the furnace will run constantly in order to maintain a desired comfort level 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 additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Watts Electric & A/C Inc Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Watts Electric & A/C Inc specialists are here to help with a free, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Connect with us at 601-736-7362 to get started today!