Did you know more than half of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s essential 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, the U.S. government offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly reduce 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 the next 25 - 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the suggested rule would mandate 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, not much, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and does not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in McHenry soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now 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 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, improves energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also involves less natural gas to produce the same amount of heat when compared to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The primary 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 depends on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Generally, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the extra hardware required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can frequently counterbalance the expense of purchase, however, so over time, it may be worthwhile investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: What They Are and How They Work
A variable-speed furnace can change its fan speed subject to the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then ramps up to supply more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only consumes the amount of energy needed to heat your home, and thus, saves you money 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. 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 stay on all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is necessary to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to manage that demand. This allows for more efficient heating and cooling in your home while also providing 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 preferred temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to fulfill demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize enhanced energy efficiency and steady temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at diminished capacity in order to maintain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are proven 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 functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired temperature within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at a variety of speeds in order to keep 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 power or not at all. This means that the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home.
Two-stage furnace, in comparison, 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 necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Jett's Heating & Air Inc. Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our Jett's Heating & Air Inc. experts are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating specifications and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Connect with us at 815-410-1128 to get started today!