Did you know more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? This is why it’s critical to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, determines how effective your furnace is at turning 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 U.S. government proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save consumers money and encourage sustainability.
This solution is expected 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 suggested rule would require all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would change 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, not much, as the proposed rule won'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 Sandpoint 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 type of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the amount of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also demands less natural gas to generate the same amount of heat 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 will depend on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, 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 struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Typically, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is on account of their increased efficiency and the extra hardware necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can usually counterbalance the price of purchase, however, so over time, it may be worthwhile 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 dependent on the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to provide more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only uses 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 a handful of 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 All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Rather, 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 required to maintain your chosen 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
A heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. In the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity to help maintain a desired temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to fulfill demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize much better energy efficiency and steady temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all models 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 performs at diminished capacity in order to retain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will flip to its high stage and operate at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continuously.
Comparing 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 more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can function at a variety of speeds in order to uphold a precise 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. In other words, the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, 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 maximum capacity.
Set Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Age Heating & Cooling Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our Age Heating & Cooling experts are here to help with a no-cost, 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 best solution. Contact us at 208-578-4258 to get started today!