Would you believe more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? That’s 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, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly decrease emissions, save consumers money and encourage sustainability.
This solution is projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Reduce 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 suggested rule would require 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? For the time being, nothing, 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’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Tucker soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Discover how these furnaces can save dollars each month off your 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 capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the amount of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers CO2 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 the condensing option's use of 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 depends on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, 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 unit may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Generally, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the additional hardware essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The extra energy savings can frequently counterbalance the cost of purchase, however, so ultimately, it may be worth investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: What They Are and How They Work
A variable-speed furnace can change its fan speed subject to the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then fires up to provide more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only consumes the amount of energy required 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 All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is required to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. When this happens, you can expect 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. During the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a chosen temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to fulfill demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience improved energy efficiency and steady temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to retain a preferred 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. For this reason, 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 operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity to help sustain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can operate at several speeds in order to keep a desired temperature more accurately within your home. So, if you have more options for temperature-settings, you also have more flexibility for heating you home, which also means more 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 power or not at all. As a result, the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, have two stages of operation, low and high. Within the 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 change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Set Your Furnace Installation Appointment with ACS Heating and Air Conditioning Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our ACS Heating and Air Conditioning 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 best solution. Connect with us at 770-450-1539 to get started today!