Did you know more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? This is 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, determines how effective your furnace is at turning natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially lower emissions, save users money and promote sustainability.
This proposal is projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Cut down on 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 require all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would change 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 this writing, not much, as the proposed rule won't go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and will not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Bend soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. See how these furnaces can help you save on energy bills now.
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 greenhouse gas emissions. It also requires less natural gas to generate the same amount 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 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. In most cases, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is the result of their increased efficiency and the extra parts necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can often balance out the cost 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 Are They and How Do They Operate
A variable-speed furnace can adjust its fan speed based on the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to provide more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy required to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
The majority of variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful of 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 Continuously?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is necessary to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to handle the demand. This allows for 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. During the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain a desired temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to meet demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize improved energy efficiency and uniform temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all systems are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function 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 maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continuously.
Comparing Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity as a way to maintain a desired temperature within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at multiple speeds in order to sustain a more accurate desired 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 operation 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 temperature 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 additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Tri County Climate Control LLC Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our Tri County Climate Control LLC professionals are here to help with a free, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating specifications and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the right solution. Contact us at 541-238-2797 to get started today!