Where you aware that more than half of your home’s energy costs are related 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 updated 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 generating heat.
In 2022, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease 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 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 change 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, nothing, as the proposed rule won't 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 Rock Hill soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. Discover 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 reduces the extent of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also involves less natural gas to create the same rate of heat when compared 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 collect any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
The life span of a condensing furnace will depend on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with appropriate 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 Cost More
Typically, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is on account of their increased efficiency and the additional hardware required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can often balance out 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 They Are and How They Work
A variable-speed furnace can adjust its fan speed dependent on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to provide more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than standard 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.
Many of the variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful of 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 operate 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 keep that temperature.
When too much energy is needed to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to manage that 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 two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — low and high. In the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a chosen 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 enhanced energy efficiency and steady temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at limited capacity in order to maintain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will flip 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 continuously.
Differences Between 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 temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can operate at a variety of speeds in order to sustain a precise 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 operation 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 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 a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with US Air Heating and Cooling Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our US Air Heating and Cooling specialists are here to help with a complimentary, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Call us at 803-220-0761 to get started today!