Would you believe more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are related 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, determines how effective your furnace is at transforming 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 Biden Administration offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially reduce emissions, save users money and encourage 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 three decades, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would require 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? For the time being, 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 Magnolia soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. See 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 capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the extent of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also involves less natural gas to produce the same rate of heat in comparison 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 collect 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 will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Generally, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is on account of their increased efficiency and the extra components needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can frequently balance out 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: The What's and How's
A variable-speed furnace can adjust its fan speed subject to the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then fires up to produce more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only utilizes 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 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 needs to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is needed to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed to handle the demand. Doing this will ensure 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. In the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a chosen temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to satisfy demands for greater warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize improved energy efficiency and steady temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all versions 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 operates at limited capacity in order to sustain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will flip to its high stage and run at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continuously.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at several speeds in order to sustain a precise temperature 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 functioning and operate either at full capacity or not at all. This means that the furnace will run constantly in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, 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 more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with JTech Mechanical Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our JTech Mechanical experts are here to help with a complimentary, 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. Connect with us at 281-231-8768 to get started today!