Where you aware that more than half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? This is why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated 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 generating heat.
In 2022, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially lower emissions, save users money and encourage sustainability.
This proposal 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 three decades, 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 convert nearly all the gas they use into heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of now, very little, as the proposed rule will not 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 Wharton soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. Discover how these furnaces can save you money on your utility bills.
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 volume of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also will take 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 main 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.
Expected Longevity of a Condensing Furnace
The life span of a condensing furnace depends 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 unit may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the additional hardware essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can often offset the price of purchase, however, so ultimately, 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 switch its fan speed dependent on the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then ramps up to provide more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy required to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
The majority of variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful of 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. In fact, it runs at different speeds depending on 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 shift up to a higher speed to handle the demand. This allows for 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. On the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a desired temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to meet demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve much better energy efficiency and uniform 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 Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs at limited capacity in order to sustain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more 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.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired temperature 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 operate at a variety of speeds in order to uphold 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 performance and operate either at full capacity or not at all. This means that the furnace will be on at all times in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home.
Two-stage furnace, in comparison, 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 needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Faust Air Conditioning and Heating Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Faust Air Conditioning and Heating experts are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the right solution. Connect with us at 979-323-6130 to get started today!