Did you know that more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are for your heating and cooling? That’s why it’s so important to have an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Furnace efficiency standards were last revised to an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80% in 2015. This rating system illustrates how effective your furnace is at combusting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace wastes about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.
In 2022, President Biden devised new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly decrease emissions, save consumers money and stimulate 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 30 years, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit yearly.
Starting in 2029, the updated rule would mandate all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would turn nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.
Considering these guidelines, you might be asking yourself what does that mean for my existing furnace? As of now, very little, as the proposed rule won't go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and will not affect furnaces that are already in use.
But if you are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. Learn 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 limits the extent of energy wasted, enhances energy efficiency and lowers carbon-monoxide emissions. It also demands less natural gas to produce the same volume 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 condensing models use a secondary heat exchanger to collect any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the other does not.
How Long Condensing Furnaces Last
The life span of a condensing furnace is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If you put off scheduled maintenance, the equipment may not last as long.
Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment
Usually, condensing furnaces type of system is much more efficient than standard, single-speed furnaces, as it only utilizes the minimum amount of energy needed to heat your home, which subsequently saves money on your utility bills.
Most variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although a few are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. If a manufacturer wants a furnace to be classified as a condensing furnace, it must offer an AFUE rating of 90% or higher.
Do Variable-Speed Furnaces Run All the Time?
A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your home as well as the amount of energy it requires to reach that temperature.
When sufficient energy is required to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed to handle the demand. This allows for more efficient heating 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 (high or low) is called a two-stage furnace. During the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain the desired temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead operate at full capacity to meet demands for greater heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience improved energy efficiency and stable temperatures throughout your home.
While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all all models are condensing furnaces.
Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run 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 retain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to reach the set temperature, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operates at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs without operating constantly.
Comparing Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces
Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity to help sustain a desired temperature within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.
Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can function at a variety of speeds in order to keep a more precise temperature at home. Such precise functionality can also help reduce energy costs, as it is not constantly running on full power like many two-stage furnaces 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 runs constantly in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home.
Conversely, two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at [lower|reduced} capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.
Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning Today
Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning professionals are here to help with a no-cost, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Contact us at to get started today!