Did you know more than half 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 revised to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, calculates how effective your furnace is at turning 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, the U.S. government recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly decrease emissions, save users money and encourage sustainability.
This proposal is anticipated 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 now, not much, as the proposed rule will not 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 Florissant soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now 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 kind of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the extent of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also will take less natural gas to create the same rate of heat in comparison 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 the condensing option's use of a secondary heat exchanger to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
The life span of a condensing furnace depends on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, 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, it may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Typically, condensing furnaces are more pricey 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 frequently counterbalance the price of purchase, however, so in the long run, it may be worthwhile investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: The What's and How's
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 senses a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to provide more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
Many of the variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. To allow 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. Instead, it runs at different speeds according to 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 chosen temperature level, the furnace will increase 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
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 operates at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain a desired temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to fulfill demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize much better energy efficiency and uniform temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs at diminished capacity in order to retain a preferred 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. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
Comparing 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 as a way to sustain a desired temperature within your home. When more warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can operate at a variety of speeds in order to uphold 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 performance and operate either at full power or not at all. In other words, the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired temperature 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 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 B & B Heating & Cooling Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our B & B Heating & Cooling 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, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Connect with us at 314-325-7552 to get started today!