Where you aware that more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are from your heating and cooling? That’s why it’s critical to maintain an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80% in 2015. This rating system measures how effective your furnace is at combusting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace wastes about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government revealed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly reduce emissions, save consumers money and encourage sustainability.
The updated standards are 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 three decades, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit yearly.
Starting in 2029, the updated rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would combust nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of now, next to nothing, 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 are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. Learn how these furnaces can save you money on your utility 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 limits the quantity of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also demands less natural gas to produce the same rate of heat in comparison 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 collect 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. Usually, 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 have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Usually, condensing furnaces type of system is significantly more efficient than standard, single-speed furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy required to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.
Most variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. If a manufacturer wants a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must offer an AFUE rating of 90% or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t need to stay on all the time. Alternatively, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your Tomball home as well as the amount of energy it uses to reach that temperature.
When sufficient energy is necessary to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will shift to a higher speed to handle the demand. This allows for 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 heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. When set to the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity to help maintain the chosen temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead function at peak capacity to satisfy demands for more heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can enjoy greater energy efficiency and stable temperatures all across your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all all types 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 planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When more energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the unit shifts to its high stage and runs at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs without operating continuously.
Contrasting 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 in order to uphold a desired temperature within your home. When more warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can run 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 capacity or not at all. As a result, the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at lower capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Premium Air Services LLC Today
Making sense of modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Premium Air Services LLC professionals are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget before helping you find the ideal solution. Contact us at 713-364-9957 to get started today!