Where you aware that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? This is why it’s critical to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, determines 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 creating heat.
In 2022, the Biden Administration proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly lower emissions, save users money and promote sustainability.
This solution is projected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Reduce 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 require all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would transform 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, very little, 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 Des Moines 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 decreases the amount of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also demands less natural gas to generate the same volume of heat when compared to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The main 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.
Expected Longevity of a Condensing Furnace
The life span of a condensing furnace will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace will 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 Cost More
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the additional components required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can frequently counterbalance the expense of purchase, however, so long term, 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 based on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then ramps up to provide more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only utilizes the amount of energy needed to heat your home, and thus, saves you money on your utility bill.
Most 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 All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. In fact, 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 necessary to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will shift up 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
As the name suggests, a furnace with two levels of operating (low or high) is called a two-stage furnace. When set to the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a preferred temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to fulfill demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience improved energy efficiency and uniform temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all systems 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 diminished capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and run at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are capable 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 functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired temperature within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can operate at multiple speeds in order to keep 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 functioning and operate either at full power or not at all. Consequently, the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces 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 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 Heartland Heating & Cooling Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Heartland Heating & Cooling professionals are here to help with a no-cost, 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 best solution. Connect with us at 515-344-3579 to get started today!