Would you believe more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are associated 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, calculates how effective your furnace is at transforming natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will expend about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially lower emissions, save users money and encourage sustainability.
This solution is expected 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 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, not much, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and does not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Phoenix soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already 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 style 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, improves energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also will take less natural gas to create the same rate of heat when comparing it 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 that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to gather any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
The life span of a condensing furnace depends on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, 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
Usually, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is the result 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 over time, 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 runs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then ramps up to produce more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only utilizes 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 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 Constantly?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. In fact, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is necessary to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to handle the 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
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 desired temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to fulfill demands for greater warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve much better energy efficiency and uniform temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at diminished capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continuously.
Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at several 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 run constantly in order to maintain a desired temperature 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 desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Dial One Mears Air Conditioning & Heating Inc Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Dial One Mears Air Conditioning & Heating Inc professionals are here to help with a free, 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 right solution. Contact us at 602-832-7808 to get started today!