Did you know more than half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? This is why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, calculates how effective your furnace is at changing natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will expend about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, the Biden Administration proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly decrease emissions, save customers money and encourage sustainability.
This proposal is estimated 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 each year.
Starting in 2029, the recommended rule would demand 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 this writing, very little, 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 Winnipeg soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and 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 style of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the extent of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also involves less natural gas to create the same rate of heat when comparing it 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.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace depends on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the unit may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Usually, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the additional components needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can usually offset the cost of purchase, however, so ultimately, it may be worthwhile 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 regulate its fan speed based on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until it detects a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to supply more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy required to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
Many of the variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a few are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. To allow a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must be 90 AFUE or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run Continuously?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t stay on all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is required to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to manage that demand. This allows for 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. When set to the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to satisfy demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve enhanced energy efficiency and consistent temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all versions 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 operates at diminished capacity in order to retain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over 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 constantly.
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 to help maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can operate at multiple speeds in order to keep a more accurate desired temperature 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 operation and operate either at full power or not at all. This means that the furnace will be on at all times in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Two-stage furnace, in comparison, have two stages of operation, low and high. During 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 needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning experts are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the best solution. Connect with us at 204-272-8128 to get started today!