Did you know more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, calculates how effective your furnace is at transforming natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, the Biden Administration offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save consumers money and promote sustainability.
This proposal is estimated 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 recommended rule would require all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would transform 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 now, nothing, 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 Greensburg soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already 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 amount of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also requires 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 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 will depend on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Usually, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the extra parts needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can usually balance out the price of purchase, however, so ultimately, 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 switch its fan speed dependent on the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then ramps up to provide more heat. This type of system is much 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.
The majority of 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 stay on all the time. In fact, 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 necessary to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will shift up 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 operates 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 experience enhanced energy efficiency and steady temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all versions 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 runs at limited capacity in order to sustain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will flip to its high stage and run at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continually.
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 maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can function at several speeds in order to maintain a desired temperature more accurately 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 capacity or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace will be on at all times in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. While in 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 desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Wallpe Heating & Cooling Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Wallpe Heating & Cooling 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 best solution. Contact us at 812-663-7252 to get started today!