Where you aware that more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are associated to heating and cooling? That is the reason why it’s critical to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last modified to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, calculates how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will waste about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.
In 2022, President Biden proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly reduce emissions, save customers money and stimulate sustainability.
This solution is expected to:
- Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
- Lower carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons over 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the suggested rule would mandate 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, very little, 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 Mount Pleasant soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Learn how these furnaces can save dollars each month off your energy bills.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a kind of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the volume of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also involves less natural gas to create the same rate of heat when compared 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 that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.
The life span of a condensing furnace varies on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with proper 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
Typically, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is on account of their increased efficiency and the additional hardware essential to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can usually counterbalance 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 They Are and How They Work
A variable-speed furnace can change its fan speed dependent on the heating conditions of your [[location]] home. It performs 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 standard 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 some 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 stay on all the time. Instead, 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 switch to a higher speed to handle the 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. During the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a chosen temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run at maximum capacity to satisfy demands for additional warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can realize enhanced energy efficiency and consistent temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are extremely efficient, not all versions are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace does not continuously run. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates 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 unit will flip to its high stage and run at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are able 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 operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity to help maintain a desired temperature within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at multiple speeds in order to keep a desired temperature more accurately 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 operation 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 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 necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Olde Towne Heating & Air Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Olde Towne Heating & Air experts 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 ideal solution. Call us at 843-485-0967 to get started today!