Where you aware that more than half of your home’s energy costs are needed for your heating and cooling? This is why it’s essential to maintain 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 calculates how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace wastes 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 significantly decrease emissions, save homeowners money and promote sustainability.
This proposal is estimated to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Reduce 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 yearly.
Starting in 2029, the updated 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? As of now, very little, 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 ready and available. Find out how these furnaces can lower your monthly energy 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 amount of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also requires less natural gas to generate 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 that the former uses 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 will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, the unit may struggle to perform as well, ultimately failing earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
For the most part, condensing furnaces type of system is much more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only utilizes the minimum amount of energy necessary to heat your home, which subsequently saves money on your utility bills.
Many variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a few 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 Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Alternatively, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it requires to reach that temperature.
When sufficient energy is demanded to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to manage the higher 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 heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. During the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity to help maintain the desired temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead function at peak capacity to satisfy demands for more heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience improved energy efficiency and balanced temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all all types 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 performs at diminished capacity in order to retain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the unit shifts to its high stage and operates at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs without operating around the clock.
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 maintain a desired temperature within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can operate at multiple speeds in order to sustain 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.
Two-stage furnaces, by comparison, 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 desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. Today
Making sense of modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. specialists are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Call us at to get started today!