Where you aware that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are from your heating and cooling? That’s why it’s essential to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80% in 2015. This rating system measures how effective your furnace is at turning natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace wastes about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, the Biden Administration revealed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially lower emissions, save homeowners money and stimulate sustainability.
This proposal is projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut 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 feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would combust nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? Currently, next to nothing, 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 your furnace is nearing the end of its life and a replacement is needed in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Learn how these furnaces can lower your monthly energy bills.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a style of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the quantity of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also involves less natural gas to produce the same volume 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 condensing models use a secondary heat exchanger to collect 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 sufficient maintenance and regular service. If you put off scheduled maintenance, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Usually, condensing furnaces type of system is significantly more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only consumes the minimum amount of energy necessary to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
The majority of variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. If a manufacturer wants a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must offer an AFUE rating of 90% or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t need to stay on all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it uses to sustain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is demanded to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. Precise fan speeds offer more efficient heating in your home while also offering quieter operation.
Guide to Two-Stage Furnaces
Two-Stage Furnaces: What They Are and How They Work
A two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — high and low. On the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain the preferred temperature for your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead function at peak capacity to meet demands for more heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience greater energy efficiency and consistent temperatures everywhere in your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all all types are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate 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 retain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When more energy is needed to reach the set temperature, the unit switches to its high stage and runs at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs without operating around the clock.
Differences Between 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 as a way to maintain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can work at a variety of speeds in order to keep a more precise temperature at home. Such precise functionality can also help reduce energy costs, as it is not constantly running on full power like many two-stage furnaces do.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage motor and operate either at full power or not at all. This means that the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired temperature at home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at [lower|reduced} capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When more warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with J.L. Brady Company LLC Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why 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 needs and your budget before helping you find the ideal solution. Get in touch with us at to get started today!