Did you know more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are associated 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, calculates 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 producing heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly reduce emissions, save customers money and stimulate sustainability.
This proposal is projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut down on 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.
So, what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of this writing, very little, as the proposed rule wouldn’t go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and doesn’t affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Derby soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. See 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the volume of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also will take less natural gas to produce the same volume of heat 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.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Usually, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the extra parts necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The extra energy savings can often counterbalance the expense of purchase, however, so over time, it may be worth 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 needs of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to supply more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only consumes the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month on your utility bill.
Most 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 Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t stay on all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it requires to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is essential to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed to handle the demand. This allows for 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
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 to help maintain a preferred temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to meet demands for greater warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve improved energy efficiency and uniform temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will switch 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 continually.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity in order to uphold a desired temperature within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at several speeds in order to uphold a more accurate desired temperature 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 capacity or not at all. As a result, the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.
Conversely, 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 temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Giordanos Heating and Air Conditioning Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Giordanos Heating and Air Conditioning specialists are here to help with a complimentary, 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 203-772-8319 to get started today!