Would you believe more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s so important 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 converting natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly reduce emissions, save customers money and stimulate sustainability.
This proposal is projected 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 proposed rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would change 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, very little, as the proposed rule won't 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 West Columbia soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. Learn 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the extent of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also demands less natural gas to create the same amount of heat when comparing it 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.
The life span of a condensing furnace will depend on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, 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, the equipment may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Generally, condensing furnaces are more pricey 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 extra energy savings can often counterbalance the price of purchase, however, so in the long run, 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 switch 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 increases speed up to supply more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month on your utility bill.
The majority of 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 stay on all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it requires to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is essential to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will switch 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (low or high) is called a two-stage furnace. When set to 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 at maximum capacity to fulfill demands for greater warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize much better energy efficiency and uniform temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all systems 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 performs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a preferred 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.
Comparing Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity as a way to uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at a variety of speeds in order to sustain 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 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 more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. specialists are here to help with a complimentary, 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 803-265-4208 to get started today!