Did you know more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are related to heating and cooling? That’s 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 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 significantly lower emissions, save customers money and encourage sustainability.
This measure 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 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would demand all new gas furnaces to be 95 AFUE. This means furnaces would convert 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 this writing, nothing, 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 Pocatello soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This curbs the extent of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also will take less natural gas to generate the same rate of heat when 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.
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 sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, it may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive
Usually, condensing furnaces are more costly than non-condensing furnaces. This is due to their increased efficiency and the additional parts needed to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. The additional energy savings can often counterbalance the price of purchase, however, so long term, it may be worth investing in a condensing furnace.
Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces
Variable-Speed Furnaces: The What's and How's
A variable-speed furnace can regulate its fan speed subject to the heating needs of your [[location]] home. It performs at a slower speed until there's a temperature decrease and then fires up to produce more heat. This type of system is a lot more efficient than standard furnaces, as it only uses the amount of energy needed to heat your home, which results in a net savings each month on your utility bill.
Most 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 operate all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your [[location]] home and the amount of energy it needs to sustain that temperature.
When too much energy is needed to maintain your chosen temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to manage that demand. Doing this will ensure 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
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 to help maintain a desired temperature within your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will operate at full 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 exceptionally efficient, not all systems 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 diminished capacity in order to maintain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are proven 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 in order to uphold a desired temperature within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces can work at several speeds in order to keep a desired temperature more accurately 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 functioning and operate either at full power or not at all. In other words, the furnace will run constantly in order to maintain a desired temperature 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 additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Vogts Heating & Air Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why our Vogts Heating & Air professionals are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating specifications and your budget, and then we’ll help you find the ideal solution. Contact us at 208-621-0129 to get started today!