Where you aware that more than half of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? This is why it’s critical to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, measures how effective your furnace is at changing natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will expend about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, the Biden Administration proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially reduce emissions, save homeowners money and encourage sustainability.
This measure is anticipated 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 each year.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would require all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would convert nearly all the gas they use into heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? For the time being, nothing, 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 Moline soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Discover 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the extent of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also demands less natural gas to produce the same rate of heat when 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 will depend on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the unit may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is on account of their increased efficiency and the extra parts necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can usually balance out the price of purchase, however, so in the long run, it may be worth 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 adjust its fan speed subject to the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to produce more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only uses 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 a few are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. In order for a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must be 90 AFUE or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run All the Time?
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 takes to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is necessary to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to handle the demand. Doing this will ensure more efficient heating and cooling 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 a chosen temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to satisfy demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve enhanced energy efficiency and uniform temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all systems 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 operates at limited 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 switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
Comparing Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace works at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired level of comfort within your home. When more warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at a variety of speeds in order to sustain a more accurate desired temperature 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 operation and operate either at full power or not at all. Consequently, the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. While in 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 change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Freed Heating & Air Conditioning Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Freed Heating & Air Conditioning specialists are here to help with a complimentary, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the right solution. Contact us at 309-323-9584 to get started today!