Did you know more than half of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? That is the reason 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 transforming 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 U.S. government offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially lower emissions, save users money and promote sustainability.
This proposal is expected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Reduce 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 change 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 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 Siloam Springs soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already 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 type of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the extent of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also will take less natural gas to produce the same rate of heat when compared to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The biggest 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 varies on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the unit may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Generally, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the additional parts required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can frequently 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 They Are and How They Work
A variable-speed furnace can change its fan speed based 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 provide more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only consumes the amount of energy needed 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 Continuously?
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 requires to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is needed to maintain your desired 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 providing 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. During the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain a desired temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to fulfill demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize much better energy efficiency and consistent temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continually.
Comparing Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired level of comfort 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 work at several speeds in order to sustain a precise temperature within your home. So, if you have more options for temperature-settings, you also have more flexibility for heating you home, which also means more savings on energy bills.
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. Consequently, the furnace will run constantly in order to maintain a desired level of comfort 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 maximum capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Siloam Springs Heating & AC Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Siloam Springs Heating & AC experts are here to help with a complimentary, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Call us at 479-308-8176 to get started today!