Would you believe more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That is the reason why it’s critical to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to 80 AFUE in 2015. AFUE, or annualized fuel utilization efficiency, determines how effective your furnace is at transforming natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will waste about 20% of the fuel it uses while generating heat.
In 2022, President Biden offered new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially reduce emissions, save consumers money and promote sustainability.
This proposal 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 the next 25 - 30 years, 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.
With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of now, not much, as the proposed rule wouldn’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 Hudsonville soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. See how these furnaces can save you money on your utility 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 decreases the volume of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also demands 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 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 should last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the additional parts necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can often offset the price of purchase, however, so in the long run, 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 runs at a slower speed until it detects a temperature decrease and then fires up to supply more heat. This type of system is significantly more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only consumes 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 few 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. Instead, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it requires to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is needed to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will increase 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 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. On the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity to help maintain a desired temperature inside your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full capacity to satisfy demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience much better energy efficiency and consistent temperatures in all areas of your home.
While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all systems are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at limited capacity in order to sustain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will flip to its high stage and operate at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are proven 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 operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity to help uphold a desired temperature within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, 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. 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 capacity or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace will always run in order to maintain a desired level of comfort 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 necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Schedule Your Furnace Installation with West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services experts are here to help with a complimentary, 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 ideal solution. Connect with us at (616) 319-1436 to get started today!