Would you believe more than half of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, measures how effective your furnace is at transforming 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 offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save homeowners money and encourage sustainability.
This measure 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 proposed rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would convert nearly all the gas they use into heat.
So, what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of this writing, 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 Omaha soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now 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 style of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the volume of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also will take less natural gas to generate the same volume of heat 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 that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to gather 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. In most cases, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Usually, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is on account of their increased efficiency and the extra hardware needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can usually offset the price of purchase, however, so ultimately, it may be worth 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 regulate its fan speed dependent on the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to supply more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only consumes the amount of energy necessary to heat your home, and thus, saves you money on your utility bill.
Many of the variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some 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 run all the time. In fact, 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 essential to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will shift up 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
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 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 satisfy demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience improved energy efficiency and steady temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are very 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 runs at limited capacity in order to retain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and run at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
Differences Between 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 level of comfort within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can function at multiple speeds in order to uphold a precise temperature within your home. Through this ability it can also help reduce energy costs as it is not constantly running on full power like many two-stage furnaces are required to do.
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. 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. Within the the low stage, 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 furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning specialists 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. Contact us at 402-509-5940 to get started today!