Where you aware that more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s essential to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, determines how effective your furnace is at converting 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, the Biden Administration recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save customers money and stimulate sustainability.
This measure is estimated to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Reduce 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 each year.
Starting in 2029, the suggested rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would convert nearly all the gas they use into heat.
So, what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of now, nothing, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and doesn’t affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Pacheco 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 curbs the extent of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also will take less natural gas to generate the same rate 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 gather any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
The life span of a condensing furnace will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is the result of their increased efficiency and the additional hardware essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can usually counterbalance the cost of purchase, however, so in the long run, it may be worthwhile investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: The What's and How's
A variable-speed furnace can regulate its fan speed dependent on the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to produce more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy required to heat your home, and thus, saves you money on your utility bill.
Many of the variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a few are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. In order for 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. Rather, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it requires to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is necessary to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to manage that demand. Doing this will ensure 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
A heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. During the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a chosen temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to satisfy demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience much better energy efficiency and consistent temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to retain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continuously.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace works at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired temperature within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at several speeds in order to maintain 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 functioning 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 level of comfort within your home.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, 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 more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Clean Air HVAC Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Clean Air HVAC specialists are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Contact us at 925-233-6238 to get started today!