Where you aware that more than 50 percent of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? That’s 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, calculates how effective your furnace is at changing natural gas into heat. An 80 AFUE rating means your furnace will waste 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 decrease emissions, save homeowners money and encourage sustainability.
This proposal is anticipated 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 demand 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, not much, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and doesn’t affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you’re going to be needing furnace replacement in Houston soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and 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 kind of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the extent of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also requires less natural gas to produce the same amount of heat in comparison 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.
The life span of a condensing furnace is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, 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
Oftentimes, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the extra components required to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can frequently balance out the price of purchase, however, so over time, 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 adjust its fan speed based on the heating requirements of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until it detects a temperature decrease and then ramps up to produce more heat. This type of system is much more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only consumes 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 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 according to the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it takes to keep that temperature.
When too much energy is needed to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will shift up to a higher speed in order to keep up with 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 heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. In the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain a desired temperature within 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 achieve 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 Function All the Time?
A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at reduced capacity in order to retain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and run at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs as it is not operating continually.
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 to help uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can run at multiple speeds in order to maintain a more accurate desired temperature 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 operation and operate either at full capacity or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace will run constantly in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During 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 full capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Marcos AC & Heating Today
Making sense of all the modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Marcos AC & Heating experts are here to help with a complimentary, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the best solution. Contact us at 713-469-3357 to get started today!