Did you know that more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are needed for 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 illustrates how effective your furnace is at 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, the Biden Administration recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save homeowners money and encourage sustainability.
These revised standards are expected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Lower 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 updated rule would demand all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would combust nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
So what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? 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 are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. Find out how these furnaces can save you money on your utility 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 capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This limits the quantity of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also will take less natural gas to create the same rate of heat 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 condensing models use a secondary heat exchanger to collect any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the other does not.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace will depend on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Usually, condensing furnaces enhanced precision is significantly more efficient than standard, single-speed furnaces, as it only utilizes the minimum amount of energy needed to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
Many 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 run all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your Georgetown home as well as the amount of energy it needs to reach that temperature.
When sufficient energy is required to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to manage the higher demand. Doing this will ensure 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (high or low) is called a two-stage furnace. During the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain the chosen temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead operate at full capacity to meet demands for increased heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience improved energy efficiency and consistent temperatures all across your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all all types are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not stay on indefinitely. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at limited capacity in order to maintain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to maintain the set temperature, the heating system shifts to its high stage and runs at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs without operating constantly.
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 works at reduced capacity as a way to uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can function at a variety of speeds in order to uphold a comfortable temperature at home. As such, variable-speed furnaces offer greater savings on your utility bills .
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage fan speed and operate either at full capacity or not at all. Consequently, the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at lower capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Miller Climate Control LLC Today
It takes experience and dedication to stay up to date about furnace technology advancements. That’s why Miller Climate Control LLC professionals are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Contact us at 512-937-2001 to get started today!