Would you believe more than half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? This is why it’s essential 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 converting 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 proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save customers money and encourage sustainability.
This proposal is projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Lower carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons over three decades, 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.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? For the time being, nothing, 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 Menomonie and western Wisconsin soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and 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 capture 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 produce the same rate of heat when comparing it 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 capture 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 depends on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, 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, the equipment may have a significantly shorter life span.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
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 extra energy savings can usually counterbalance the price of purchase, however, so ultimately, 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 adjust its fan speed based on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until it detects a temperature decrease and then ramps 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 needed to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month on your utility bill.
The majority of 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 keep that temperature.
When too much energy is needed to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will increase 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 to help maintain a chosen temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to satisfy demands for greater warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize much better energy efficiency and uniform temperatures throughout 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 operates at diminished capacity in order to maintain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will flip to its high stage and operate at full capacity. As such, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
Contrasting 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 uphold 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 function at a variety of speeds in order to maintain a more accurate desired 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 operation and operate either at full capacity or not at all. This means that the furnace will run constantly in order to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces 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 necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Halverson Brothers Inc Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Halverson Brothers Inc experts 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. Contact us at 715-352-4052 to get started today!