Would you believe more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? This is why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, measures how effective your furnace is at changing natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly reduce emissions, save users money and encourage sustainability.
This proposal is anticipated 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 proposed rule would require all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would transform 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, not much, as the proposed rule wouldn’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 Los Angeles soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already 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 type 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 CO2 emissions. It also involves less natural gas to generate the same rate of heat in comparison 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.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace will depend 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 Require a Higher Investment
Generally, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is on account of their increased efficiency and the additional parts necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can often counterbalance the cost of purchase, however, so long term, 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 regulate its fan speed based on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then fires up to provide more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy required to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month 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 operate all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is necessary to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. When this happens, you can expect 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 heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. In the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a chosen temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to fulfill demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize much better energy efficiency and uniform 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 Operate All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to retain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will flip 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 works at reduced capacity to help maintain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can operate at several 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 capacity or not at all. Consequently, 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. 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 desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with AZ Air Conditioning and Heating Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our AZ Air Conditioning and Heating 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. Call us at 800-296-5088 to get started today!