Where you aware that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are needed for your heating and cooling? This is why it’s so important to secure an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated 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 will waste 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 greatly reduce emissions, save consumers money and encourage sustainability.
The updated standards are expected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut 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 yearly.
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.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? For the time being, next to nothing, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and doesn’t affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Learn how these furnaces can help you save on energy bills now.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a style of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This limits the extent of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also involves less natural gas to create the same amount of heat 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 that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to gather any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the other does not.
Expected Longevity of a Condensing Furnace
The life span of a condensing furnace depends 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 you don’t schedule routine maintenance, the unit may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
For the most part, condensing furnaces type of system is a lot more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy necessary to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
Most variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. In order for a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must offer an AFUE rating of 90% or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run Nonstop?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it uses to sustain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is required to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to manage the higher demand. This allows for more efficient heating in your home while also providing 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. When set to the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain the chosen temperature at your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to meet demands for increased heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can maintain improved energy efficiency and consistent temperatures everywhere in your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all all models 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 runs at diminished capacity in order to sustain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to maintain the set temperature, the unit shifts to its high stage and runs at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are powerful enough to help reduce energy costs without operating continuously.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity to help uphold a desired temperature within your home. When more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can work at several speeds in order to uphold a comfortable 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 of operation and operate either at full capacity or not at all. Consequently, the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired comfort level 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 a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Edington Heating & Cooling Inc Today
Making sense of modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Edington Heating & Cooling Inc specialists are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote 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!