Where you aware that more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? That’s 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, measures how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save consumers money and stimulate sustainability.
This proposal is 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 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would transform nearly all the gas they use into heat.
So, what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? For the time being, very little, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and does not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Auburn soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Discover how these furnaces can save you money on your utility bills.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a kind of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the amount of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also will take less natural gas to produce the same rate 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 that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
Expected Longevity of a Condensing Furnace
The life span of a condensing furnace depends 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, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the additional components essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The extra energy savings can usually offset the price of purchase, however, so ultimately, 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 adjust its fan speed dependent on the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then fires up to provide more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only consumes the amount of energy needed 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 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 Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it requires to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is required to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to manage that demand. Doing this will ensure 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 heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. During the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity to help maintain a preferred temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to fulfill demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve much better 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 should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to maintain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will change over 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.
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 works at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can function at multiple speeds in order to maintain 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 operation and operate either at full power or not at all. This means that the furnace will run constantly in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces 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 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 Forster Heating Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Forster Heating specialists 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, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Contact us at 530-885-8081 to get started today!