Would you believe more than half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That’s 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, measures how effective your furnace is at converting 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, the Biden Administration proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially decrease emissions, save homeowners money and promote sustainability.
This solution is estimated 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 recommended rule would demand all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would convert nearly all the gas they use into heat.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of this writing, not much, 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 Bishop 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 style of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This decreases the amount of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also requires less natural gas to generate the same amount of heat in comparison 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.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace varies on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with appropriate 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 Are More Expensive
Generally, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is on account of their increased efficiency and the additional parts needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The extra energy savings can usually 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 Are They and How Do They Operate
A variable-speed furnace can change its fan speed based on the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then fires up to produce more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only utilizes the amount of energy required to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.
The majority of 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 stay on 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 essential to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed to manage that demand. This allows for 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. In the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a chosen temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to fulfill demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience much better energy efficiency and consistent temperatures throughout 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 does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the heating system will change over to its high stage and run at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continuously.
Comparing 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 as a way to sustain a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at several speeds in order to keep a more accurate desired 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 operation and operate either at full power or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired comfort level 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 needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning experts are here to help with a complimentary, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating specifications and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the right solution. Connect with us at 760-784-9034 to get started today!