Did you know that more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are from your heating and cooling? That’s why it’s critical to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified 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 producing heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly reduce emissions, save customers money and promote sustainability.
This proposal is estimated to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut 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 proposed rule would demand all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would convert 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 wouldn’t go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and doesn’t affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you need furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now 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 style of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This limits the quantity of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also requires less natural gas to produce the same amount of heat when compared 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 gather any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace depends 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, the equipment may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Typically, condensing furnaces enhanced precision is significantly more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy necessary to heat your home, which subsequently saves money on your utility bills.
Most variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful 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 All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your Phoenix home as well as the amount of energy it requires to maintain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is necessary to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will shift to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. Doing this will ensure 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 desired temperature at your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead function at peak capacity to meet demands for increased heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can enjoy enhanced energy efficiency and comfortable temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very 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 performs at reduced capacity in order to retain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When more energy is needed to reach the set temperature, the furnace shifts to its high stage and operates at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs without operating around the clock.
Comparing Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity in order to uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can operate at several speeds in order to keep a comfortable temperature at home. With more options for temperature settings, you also have more flexibility for heating you home and can enjoy greater savings on energy bills.
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 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 more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Integrity AC & Heating LLC Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Integrity AC & Heating LLC specialists are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Call us at 602-971-0567 to get started today!