Did you know more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? That’s 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, measures how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will expend about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, the Biden Administration proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly decrease emissions, save homeowners 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 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.
So, what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of now, nothing, as the proposed rule wouldn’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 Moline 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the amount of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also involves 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 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.
The life span of a condensing furnace is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Generally, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is the result of their increased efficiency and the extra parts essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can often balance out the price of purchase, however, so in the long run, 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 adjust its fan speed dependent on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then fires up to provide more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only utilizes the amount of energy needed to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
Many of the 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 operate all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it requires to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is necessary to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. Doing this will ensure 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. When set to the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a chosen temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to fulfill demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience enhanced energy efficiency and steady temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at limited capacity in order to sustain a preferred 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. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
Comparing 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 temperature within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at a variety of speeds in order to maintain a precise temperature within your home. As such, variable-speed furnaces offer greater savings on your utility bills, because it has more options in terms of functionality.
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 level of comfort 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 a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with J.L. Brady Company LLC Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our J.L. Brady Company LLC professionals 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 ideal solution. Connect with us at 309-517-7511 to get started today!