Would you believe more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are linked to heating and cooling? That is the reason why it’s essential to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised 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 U.S. government proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially reduce emissions, save users money and promote sustainability.
This solution is expected 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 mandate all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would transform nearly all the gas they use into heat.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? As of now, nothing, 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 Des Moines soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are already available. Discover how these furnaces can save you money on your utility bills.
Guide to Condensing Furnaces
How Condensing Furnaces Work
A condensing furnace is a type of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the volume of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also demands less natural gas to create the same volume 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 capture 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 will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, 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, the equipment may struggle with performance and ultimately fail earlier than anticipated.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more pricey than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the additional hardware necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The added energy savings can usually balance out the expense of purchase, however, so in the long run, 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 adjust its fan speed based on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It operates at a slower speed until it senses a temperature decrease and then fires up to produce more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only uses 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. In order for a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must be 90 AFUE or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is required to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will switch 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 offering 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 operates at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a chosen temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will run full throttle to satisfy demands for increased warmth or cooling. With a two-stage furnace, you can achieve much better energy efficiency and steady 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 should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to sustain 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 full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are capable 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 operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity as a way to sustain a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at multiple speeds in order to uphold a desired temperature more accurately 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 functioning and operate either at full power or not at all. In other words, the furnace will be on at all times 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. While in the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When more warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Set Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling professionals are here to help with a complimentary, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating specifications and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Connect with us at 515-207-6569 to get started today!