Where you aware that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? This is 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, measures 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 producing heat.
In 2022, the U.S. government offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly lower emissions, save homeowners money and encourage sustainability.
This measure is estimated 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 recommended rule would require all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would convert nearly all the gas they use into heat.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? As of now, not much, as the proposed rule will not 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 Lafayette soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. See 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, enhances energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also will take less natural gas to produce the same amount 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 gather any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Typically, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is on account of 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 expense 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 based on the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then ramps up to produce more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only utilizes 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 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 stay on all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to maintain that temperature.
When too much energy is essential to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to manage that demand. When this happens, you can expect 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 two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — low and high. During the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain a chosen temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to fulfill demands for greater warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience improved energy efficiency and consistent temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all models 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 performs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and run at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are capable 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 operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired level of comfort within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at several speeds in order to maintain a more accurate desired temperature 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 power or not at all. In other words, the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.
Two-stage furnace, in comparison, have two stages of operation, low and high. Within the 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 shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with AC Sales Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our AC Sales professionals 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 ideal solution. Connect with us at (337) 234-2345 to get started today!