Would you believe more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? This is why it’s essential to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, measures how effective your furnace is at turning natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will expend about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly decrease emissions, save homeowners money and stimulate sustainability.
This proposal is expected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Lower 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 recommended rule would demand all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would change nearly all the gas they use into heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of this writing, nothing, as the proposed rule won't 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 Carson City soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. See 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 collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the amount of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also involves less natural gas to produce the same volume of heat in comparison 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 gather 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 proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Usually, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the extra components essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The extra energy savings can often offset 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 They Are and How They Work
A variable-speed furnace can adjust its fan speed based on the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to supply more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only utilizes the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, and thus, saves you money on your utility bill.
Most 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 stay on 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 sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is required to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed in order to keep up with 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. During the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a chosen temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to meet demands for greater warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience improved energy efficiency and uniform temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all versions 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 retain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will change over to its high stage and run at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continually.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity as a way to maintain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at several speeds in order to uphold a desired temperature more accurately 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 performance and operate either at full capacity or not at all. In other words, the furnace will be on at all times in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces 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 additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Anderson Heating & A/C Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our Anderson Heating & A/C specialists are here to help with a no-cost, 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 ideal solution. Contact us at 775-230-7628 to get started today!