Did you know that more than 50 percent 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 revised to an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80% in 2015. This rating system illustrates how effective your furnace is at combusting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace will waste about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly decrease emissions, save consumers money and stimulate sustainability.
The updated 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 each year.
Starting in 2029, the updated rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would turn nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of now, next to 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 are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and 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 kind of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the quantity of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also requires less natural gas to generate the same volume 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 that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the other does not.
Expected Longevity of a Condensing Furnace
The life span of a condensing furnace is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Generally, condensing furnaces enhanced precision is significantly more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only utilizes the minimum amount of energy needed to heat your home, resulting in more savings 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. 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 Nonstop?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t need to stay on all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it needs to reach that temperature.
When sufficient energy is needed to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will switch 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (high or low) is called a two-stage furnace. When set to the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity in order to maintain the preferred temperature for 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 greater energy efficiency and stable temperatures everywhere in your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all 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 performs at limited capacity in order to maintain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When more energy is needed to reach the set temperature, the heating system switches to its high stage and runs at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs without operating around the clock.
Contrasting 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 uphold a desired temperature within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can operate at several speeds in order to sustain a comfortable temperature at home. Such precise functionality can also help reduce energy costs, as it is not constantly running on full power like many two-stage furnaces do.
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. In other words, the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired temperature at home.
Two-stage furnaces, by comparison, have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at [lower|reduced} capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Paniccia Heating & Cooling Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Paniccia Heating & Cooling experts are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Get in touch with us at to get started today!