Did you know that more than half of your home’s energy costs are needed for your heating and cooling? This is the reason why it’s essential to secure an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80% in 2015. This rating system calculates how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace wastes about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government devised new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save customers money and stimulate sustainability.
This proposal is anticipated 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 annually.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would demand all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would convert nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
So what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? For the time being, not much, 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 need furnace replacement in 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 limits the extent of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also will take less natural gas to generate the same amount of heat when compared 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 that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to gather 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 is dependent 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 you put off scheduled maintenance, the unit may struggle to perform as well, ultimately failing earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Usually, condensing furnaces are more cost most to install than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the additional components needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. However, the extra energy savings can frequently offset the price of purchase. So over time, it may be worthwhile investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: What You Need to Know
A variable-speed furnace can more precisely alter its fan speed based on the heating requirements of your home. It starts at a slower speed until it notices a drop in temperature and then ramps up to produce more heat. This [precise fan is a lot more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy required to heat your home, which subsequently saves money on your utility bills.
Most 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 offer an AFUE rating of 90% or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it uses to reach that temperature.
When sufficient energy is demanded to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to handle the demand. Doing this will ensure more efficient heating in your home while also offering 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. During the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain the preferred temperature at your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to meet demands for more heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can maintain improved energy efficiency and balanced temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all all types are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs at diminished capacity in order to retain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to maintain the set temperature, the furnace shifts to its high stage and runs at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs without operating around the clock.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace works at reduced capacity as a way to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can run at multiple speeds in order to maintain a more precise temperature at home. Such precise functionality can also help reduce energy costs, as it is not constantly running on full power like many two-stage furnaces 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. In other words, the furnace runs constantly in order to maintain a desired comfort level at home.
Two-stage furnaces, by comparison, 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 additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with GV Heating & Air Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why GV Heating & Air experts are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget before helping you find the ideal solution. Get in touch with us at to get started today!