Where you aware that more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are from your heating and cooling? This is the reason why it’s so important 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 calculates 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 devised new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly decrease emissions, save money and encourage sustainability.
This proposal is anticipated to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Lower 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 annually.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would demand all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would combust nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
So what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of now, next to nothing, as the proposed rule wouldn’t go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and does not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you need furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. Learn how these furnaces can save you money on your utility bills.
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 limits the quantity of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also involves less natural gas to produce 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 capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
Expected Longevity of a Condensing Furnace
The life span of a condensing furnace will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the unit may struggle to perform as well, ultimately failing earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Usually, condensing furnaces enhanced precision is much more efficient than standard, single-speed furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy necessary to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
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 Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it needs to maintain that temperature.
When sufficient energy is demanded to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will shift 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
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 to help maintain the preferred temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to satisfy demands for greater heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can maintain improved energy efficiency and balanced temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not stay on indefinitely. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to retain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional energy is needed to reach the set temperature, the heating system switches to its high stage and runs at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs without operating constantly.
Comparing Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired temperature within your home. When more warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can run at a variety of speeds in order to maintain 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 of operation and operate either at full capacity or not at all. In other words, the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, 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 more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating Today
It takes experience and dedication to stay up to date about furnace technology advancements. That’s why Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating professionals 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 before helping you find the best solution. Get in touch with us at to get started today!