Where you aware that more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are needed for your heating and cooling? This is the reason why it’s critical to have 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 measures how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace will waste about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden revealed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save money and stimulate sustainability.
These revised standards are 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 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit annually.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would turn 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, next to 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 are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. Learn how these furnaces can lower your monthly 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 capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the extent of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also will take less natural gas to create the same amount 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 condensing models use a secondary heat exchanger to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the other does not.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace depends on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If you put off scheduled maintenance, the equipment may struggle to perform as well, ultimately failing earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
For the most part, condensing furnaces type of system is a lot more efficient than standard, single-speed furnaces, as it only consumes the minimum amount of energy needed to heat your home, which subsequently saves money on your utility bills.
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 Nonstop?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it uses to reach that temperature.
When sufficient energy is needed to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. Doing this will ensure 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
A two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — high and low. In the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain the desired temperature at your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to meet demands for greater heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience greater energy efficiency and steady temperatures all across your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all all models 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 runs at reduced capacity in order to retain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to maintain the set temperature, the furnace switches to its high stage and runs at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are powerful enough to help reduce energy costs without operating constantly.
Differences Between 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 to help sustain a desired temperature within your home. When more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can operate at a variety of speeds in order to keep a desired temperature more consistently at home. With more options for temperature settings, you also have more flexibility for heating you home and can enjoy greater savings on energy bills.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage motor and operate either at full power or not at all. As a result, the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired temperature at home.
Two-stage furnaces, by comparison, 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 a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning Today
Making sense of modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning specialists are here to help with a no-obligation, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Get in touch with us at to get started today!