Where you aware that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? That’s why it’s so important 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 lose about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially reduce emissions, save consumers money and promote sustainability.
This solution 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 proposed rule would mandate 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 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 Chelan and Wenatchee 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 collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the extent of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also involves less natural gas to produce the same rate of heat 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 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 will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace should 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 Are More Expensive
Usually, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the extra components essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can frequently balance out the cost 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 switch its fan speed dependent on the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It runs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then ramps up to supply more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy required to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
Most variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a handful of are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. To allow 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 run 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 chosen 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 offering 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. In the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a chosen temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to meet demands for greater 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 exceptionally efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at diminished capacity in order to retain 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. As such, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continually.
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 uphold a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can function at multiple speeds in order to keep a more accurate desired 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 performance and operate either at full power or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace will run constantly in order to maintain a desired comfort level 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 additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Lakeside Heating & Air Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Lakeside Heating & Air 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 509-284-4265 to get started today!