Would you believe more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That is the reason why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, determines how effective your furnace is at changing 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, the U.S. government recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save homeowners money and encourage 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 demand all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would change nearly all the gas they use into heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? For the time being, very little, as the proposed rule wouldn’t 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 Carpentersville 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the volume of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also will take less natural gas to create the same amount 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 appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the unit may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the extra components needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The extra energy savings can usually 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: What Are They and How Do They Operate
A variable-speed furnace can switch its fan speed dependent on the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then fires up to produce more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy required to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
Many of the variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a few 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 All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is necessary to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed to handle the 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. In the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a desired temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to satisfy demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve enhanced energy efficiency and uniform temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally 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 performs at limited capacity in order to retain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will flip to its high stage and operate at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continuously.
Comparing 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 maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can operate at several speeds in order to uphold a precise 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 be on at all times in order to maintain a desired comfort level 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 a greater demand for warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Controlled Comfort HVAC Inc Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Controlled Comfort HVAC Inc specialists are here to help with a complimentary, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating specifications and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Contact us at 224-412-8308 to get started today!