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 so important to maintain 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 calculates how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace loses about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, the Biden Administration revealed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save homeowners money and encourage sustainability.
The updated standards are projected 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 yearly.
Starting in 2029, the updated rule would mandate 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? Currently, not much, as the proposed rule won't go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and doesn’t affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Learn 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 collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the quantity of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also requires less natural gas to produce the same amount of heat in comparison 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 capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the other does not.
The life span of a condensing furnace is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If you put off scheduled maintenance, the unit may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Usually, condensing furnaces type of system is significantly more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only consumes the minimum amount of energy required to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
Most variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. If a manufacturer wants 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 operate all the time. Alternatively, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your Albuquerque home as well as the amount of energy it requires to maintain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is demanded to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to manage the higher 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. In the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to meet demands for more heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can enjoy improved energy efficiency and consistent temperatures everywhere in your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all all models 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 performs at limited capacity in order to sustain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to reach the set temperature, the heating system will switch to its high stage and runs at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs without operating constantly.
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 works at reduced capacity as a way to maintain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can run at multiple speeds in order to keep a desired temperature more consistently at home. As such, variable-speed furnaces offer greater savings on your utility bills .
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage motor and operate either at full power or not at all. This means that the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Two-stage furnaces, by comparison, have two stages of operation, low and high. While in the low stage, the furnace runs at lower capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with I-Deal HVAC Today
It takes experience and dedication to stay up to date about furnace technology advancements. That’s why I-Deal HVAC experts are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget before helping you find the best solution. Contact us at 505-445-1250 to get started today!