Would you believe more than half of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? That is the reason why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, calculates 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 producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly lower emissions, save customers money and promote sustainability.
This measure is projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Reduce carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons over the next 25 - 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 transform nearly all the gas they use into 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 wouldn’t 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 York soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. Learn how these furnaces can save dollars each month off your energy bills.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a type of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the extent of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also demands less natural gas to produce 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 collect any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
The life span of a condensing furnace is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with sufficient 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
Usually, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is on account of their increased efficiency and the extra components essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can often balance out the expense of purchase, however, so in the long run, it may be worth 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 dependent 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 conventional furnaces, as it only consumes the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
Most 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 be 90 AFUE or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate 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 to handle the demand. When this happens, you can expect more efficient heating and cooling 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 — low and high. On the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a desired temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to fulfill demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience much better energy efficiency and uniform temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired 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 a result, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continually.
Comparing 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 in order to sustain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can function at a variety of speeds in order to keep a precise temperature within your home. So, if you have more options for temperature-settings, you also have more flexibility for heating you home, which also means more savings on energy bills.
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. As a result, the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, have two stages of operation, low and high. While in 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 switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning professionals are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating specifications and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the best solution. Call us at 717-383-4479 to get started today!