Would you believe more than half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s critical to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, measures how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will waste about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, President Biden offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly lower emissions, save consumers money and promote sustainability.
This measure is expected 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 the next 25 - 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the suggested rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would transform nearly all the gas they use into heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of this writing, 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 Tucson soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and 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 style of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the volume of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also will take less natural gas to produce the same amount of heat compared to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The biggest difference between a condensing furnace and a non-condensing furnace is the condensing option's use of 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 is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace is likely to 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
Generally, condensing furnaces are more expensive 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 additional energy savings can frequently counterbalance the cost of purchase, however, so over time, it may be worthwhile 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 switch its fan speed subject to the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until it detects a temperature decrease and then ramps up to provide more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only consumes the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month on your utility bill.
The majority of 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 Continuously?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t stay on all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is needed to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. Doing this will ensure 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 operates at a reduced capacity to help maintain a preferred temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to satisfy demands for greater warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize much better energy efficiency and uniform temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all systems are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at diminished capacity in order to sustain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will flip to its high stage and operate at full capacity. As a result, 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 operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity as a way to uphold a desired temperature within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at multiple speeds in order to uphold a desired temperature more accurately 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 performance and operate either at full capacity or not at all. This means that the furnace will be on at all times 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 a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with A&M Heating & Cooling LLC Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our A&M Heating & Cooling LLC specialists 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. Connect with us at 520-200-1048 to get started today!