Did you know more than half of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? This is why it’s so important 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 changing natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will lose 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 significantly lower emissions, save consumers money and promote sustainability.
This solution is estimated to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Reduce 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 suggested rule would require 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 now, very little, as the proposed rule won't 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 Manassas soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now available. Learn 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, improves energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also will take less natural gas to create the same amount of heat when compared to other types of furnaces.
How Condensing Furnaces Differ from Non-Condensing Furnaces
The primary difference between a condensing furnace and a non-condensing furnace is the condensing option's use of a secondary heat exchanger to gather any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
Expected Longevity of a Condensing Furnace
The life span of a condensing furnace depends on the brand, model and other factors. Usually, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is the result of their increased efficiency and the extra hardware essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can usually balance out the expense of purchase, however, so long term, it may be worthwhile 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 switch its fan speed based on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then increases speed up to supply more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only utilizes the amount of energy needed 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 Continuously?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t stay on all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is required to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to handle the 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
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 operates 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 meet demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve much better energy efficiency and consistent temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all systems are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to retain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the unit will flip to its high stage and operate at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are capable to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating constantly.
Comparing 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 as a way to uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can function at several speeds in order to maintain 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 performance and operate either at full power or not at all. This means that the furnace will be on at all times 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. 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 change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Set Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. Today
It takes experience and constant education to stay knowledgeable about furnace technology advancements. That’s why our Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. experts are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the best solution. Contact us at 703-260-1148 to get started today!