Where you aware that more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s essential to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, calculates how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will waste about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, President Biden proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly reduce emissions, save customers money and encourage sustainability.
This solution is estimated 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 three decades, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the suggested rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would change nearly all the gas they use into heat.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? As of this writing, very little, as the proposed rule won't go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and will not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Front Royal soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already 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 type of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the volume of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also requires less natural gas to create the same volume of heat when comparing it 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 that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace varies on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the unit may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Typically, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is the result of their increased efficiency and the extra parts needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can usually balance out the cost of purchase, however, so long term, 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 switch its fan speed dependent on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to produce more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month 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 Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds depending on 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 desired temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to manage that demand. This allows for 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (low or high) is called a two-stage furnace. In the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to meet demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience much better energy efficiency and uniform temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. 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 more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and run at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continuously.
Comparing 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 sustain a desired temperature within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can function at multiple speeds in order to keep a more accurate desired temperature within your home. As such, variable-speed furnaces offer greater savings on your utility bills, because it has more options in terms of functionality.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage of performance and operate either at full power or not at all. As a result, the furnace will be on at all times in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, 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 more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Dave's Diversified Services Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our Dave's Diversified Services professionals are here to help with a no-cost, 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 540-636-3396 to get started today!