Where you aware that more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are needed for your heating and cooling? This is why it’s critical to maintain an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated to an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80% in 2015. This rating system illustrates how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace wastes about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government revealed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save customers money and promote sustainability.
These revised standards are expected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons over three decades, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit yearly.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would combust nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? As of now, very little, as the proposed rule won't go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and will not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you need 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 kind of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the extent of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also involves less natural gas to generate the same rate of heat in comparison 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 that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect 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 depends on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may struggle to perform as well, ultimately failing earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Generally, condensing furnaces enhanced precision is much more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only utilizes the minimum amount of energy necessary to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
The majority of variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some 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 run all the time. Alternatively, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it requires to maintain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is demanded to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to handle the demand. Doing this will ensure more efficient heating in your home while also providing 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. During the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity to help maintain the chosen temperature at 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 maintain enhanced energy efficiency and steady temperatures all across your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all all types are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional energy is needed to reach the set temperature, the furnace shifts to its high stage and operates at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs without operating around the clock.
Differences Between 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 to help uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can function at several speeds in order to sustain a more precise 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 capacity or not at all. In other words, the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired temperature 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|reduced} capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc specialists are here to help with a no-obligation, 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!