Did you know more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? This is why it’s critical to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, measures how effective your furnace is at changing natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will expend about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly lower emissions, save consumers money and promote sustainability.
This measure 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 proposed rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would convert nearly all the gas they use into heat.
So, what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of now, not much, as the proposed rule won't 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 Ballwin and St. Charles soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. Discover how these furnaces can save you money on your utility bills.
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 volume of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also requires less natural gas to produce the same volume of heat when comparing it 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.
The life span of a condensing furnace will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Generally, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the extra parts required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can usually balance out the price 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 adjust its fan speed based on the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then fires up to supply more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy required to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
The majority of variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful of 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 run all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is required to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed to manage that 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (low or high) is called a two-stage furnace. On the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain a desired temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to fulfill demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve improved energy efficiency and consistent temperatures throughout 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 should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to retain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will switch to its high stage and run at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are able 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 works at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired level of comfort within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at multiple speeds in order to keep a more accurate desired temperature within your home. As such, variable-speed furnaces offer greater savings on your utility bills, because it has more options in terms of functionality.
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 will always run in order to maintain a desired temperature 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 a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Set Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Air Alliance Team Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our Air Alliance Team experts 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 right solution. Contact us at 636-206-4250 to get started today!