Where you aware that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are from your heating and cooling? This is the reason why it’s critical to secure 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 measures how effective your furnace is at turning natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace wastes about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government devised new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly decrease emissions, save money and encourage sustainability.
These revised standards are anticipated to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut 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 annually.
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.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? Currently, very little, 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 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 capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This limits the quantity of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also will take less natural gas to create the same rate of heat compared to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The primary difference between a condensing furnace and a non-condensing furnace is condensing models use 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 is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If you put off scheduled maintenance, the equipment may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Typically, condensing furnaces type of system 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.
The majority of 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 operate all the time. Alternatively, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it needs to maintain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is needed to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. This allows for 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 heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. On the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity to help maintain the preferred temperature at your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum 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 highly efficient, not all all types are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run 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 maintain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When more energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the unit switches to its high stage and runs at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs without 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 works at reduced capacity as a way to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can operate at several speeds in order to keep a comfortable temperature 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. Consequently, the furnace runs constantly 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 [lower|reduced} capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with I-Deal HVAC Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why I-Deal HVAC 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 before helping you find the best solution. Get in touch with us at to get started today!