Where you aware that more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s critical 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 turning 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 significantly lower emissions, save users money and stimulate sustainability.
This measure is estimated 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 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.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of this writing, very little, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and will not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Arlington soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. See how these furnaces can save dollars each month off your energy 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 collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the volume of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also demands less natural gas to generate the same volume of heat when comparing it 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.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace varies on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the unit may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Usually, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is the result of their increased efficiency and the extra hardware essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can usually balance out 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: The What's and How's
A variable-speed furnace can regulate its fan speed based on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then fires up to produce more heat. This type of system is a lot 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.
Many of the 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 All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is essential to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to manage that demand. When this happens, you can expect 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (low or high) is called a two-stage furnace. During the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to fulfill demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize enhanced energy efficiency and consistent temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all systems are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs at diminished capacity in order to maintain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
Contrasting 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 maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at a variety of speeds in order to uphold 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 operation and operate either at full power or not at all. As a result, the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Set Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning professionals 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 right solution. Call us at 360-255-5857 to get started today!