Did you know more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are linked 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, calculates how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save homeowners money and promote sustainability.
This solution is expected 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 three decades, 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 convert 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 this writing, very little, as the proposed rule wouldn’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 Elk River soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and 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 kind of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the amount of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also involves less natural gas to generate the same rate of heat in comparison 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 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 varies on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, 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 unit may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the extra parts essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can usually offset the expense of purchase, however, so long term, it may be worth 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 based on the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until it detects 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 consumes the amount of energy needed to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month on your utility bill.
Many of the variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a few 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 Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is essential to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed to handle the 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
A heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. On the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity to help maintain a preferred temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to satisfy demands for increased 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 highly efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function 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 maintain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will change over to its high stage and run at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace works at reduced capacity in order to uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can operate at multiple speeds in order to maintain 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. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace will be on at all times in order to maintain a desired temperature 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 a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Home Comfort Heating & Air Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our Home Comfort Heating & Air 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 ideal solution. Contact us at 763-276-0617 to get started today!