Would you believe more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are associated 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, determines how effective your furnace is at transforming natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will expend about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly lower emissions, save users money and promote sustainability.
This solution 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 transform nearly all the gas they use into heat.
So, what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of now, not much, as the proposed rule won'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 Marshalltown soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and 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 collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the amount of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also involves less natural gas to generate the same rate of heat when 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 will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Usually, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the extra hardware necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The extra energy savings can usually balance out the expense of purchase, however, so over time, it may be worth investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: The What's and How's
A variable-speed furnace can change its fan speed dependent on the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to supply more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy required to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month on your utility bill.
Most 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. Rather, it runs at different speeds depending on 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 preferred temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to handle the demand. This allows for 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (low or high) is called a two-stage furnace. On the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a chosen temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to meet demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience much better energy efficiency and consistent temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all versions 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 maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continually.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace works at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can function at multiple speeds in order to keep a desired temperature more accurately within your home. As such, variable-speed furnaces offer greater savings on your utility bills, because it has more options in terms of functionality.
Differences Between One- and Two-Stage Furnaces
One-stage furnaces have a single stage of functioning and operate either at full capacity or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace will be on at all times in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, 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 change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Kapaun & Brown Inc. Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Kapaun & Brown Inc. professionals are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the right solution. Call us at 641-812-2028 to get started today!