Would you believe more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, calculates how effective your furnace is at turning natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will expend about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, the Biden Administration recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save consumers money and encourage sustainability.
This measure is anticipated to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut down on 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 demand 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, not much, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and does not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Phoenix soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. Discover how these furnaces can help you save on energy bills now.
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 curbs the extent of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also demands less natural gas to produce 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 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. Usually, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Generally, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the additional parts required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can usually counterbalance the expense of purchase, however, so over time, it may be worthwhile investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: What Are They and How Do They Operate
A variable-speed furnace can change its fan speed subject to the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until it detects a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to supply more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only utilizes the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, and thus, saves you money on your utility bill.
The majority of variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. To allow a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must be 90 AFUE or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run Continuously?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t stay on all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is necessary to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed to handle the demand. This allows for more efficient heating and cooling 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 (low or high) is called a two-stage furnace. During the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a desired temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to meet demands for greater warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve enhanced energy efficiency and uniform temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all systems are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, 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 needed, the unit will change over to its high stage and run at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continually.
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 to help sustain a desired level of comfort within your home. When more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at several speeds in order to keep a desired temperature more accurately within your home. Through this ability it can also help reduce energy costs as it is not constantly running on full power like many two-stage furnaces are required to do.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage of functioning and operate either at full power or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace will run constantly in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.
Two-stage furnace, in comparison, 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 needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Integrity AC & Heating LLC Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Integrity AC & Heating LLC specialists are here to help with a free, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Connect with us at 602-971-0567 to get started today!