Did you know that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are needed for your heating and cooling? That’s why it’s essential to secure an energy-efficient HVAC system.

Furnace efficiency standards were last updated 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 loses about 20% of the fuel it uses while creating heat.

In 2022, President Biden revealed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly reduce emissions, save consumers money and encourage sustainability.

This proposal is estimated 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 require all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would convert 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, 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 are considering furnace replacement in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are ready and available. Find out 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 capture wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the extent of energy wasted, increases energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also will take less natural gas to generate the same rate of heat when comparing one 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 that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the other does not.

How Long Condensing Furnaces Last

The life span of a condensing furnace will depend on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If you put off scheduled maintenance, the unit may not last as long.

Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More

For the most part, condensing furnaces type of system is a lot more efficient than standard, single-speed furnaces, as it only consumes the minimum amount of energy required to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.

The majority of variable-speed furnaces are condensing furnaces, although some are available in non-condensing models with lower AFUE ratings. In order for 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. Rather, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your Crown Point home as well as the amount of energy it uses to reach that temperature.

When sufficient energy is required to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will increase to a higher speed to manage the higher 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

A heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. In the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity to help maintain the desired temperature for your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to satisfy demands for more heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience greater energy efficiency and stable temperatures all across 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 does not stay on indefinitely. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at reduced capacity in order to maintain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional energy is needed to maintain the set temperature, the unit shifts to its high stage and operates at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are powerful enough to help reduce energy costs without operating continuously.

Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces

Two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity as a way to maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When more warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at full capacity.

Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can work at several speeds in order to keep a comfortable 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 fan speed and operate either at full capacity or not at all. In other words, the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home.

Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.

Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Struven Heating & Cooling Today

It takes experience and dedication to stay up to date about furnace technology advancements. That’s why Struven Heating & Cooling specialists are here to help with a free, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget before helping you find the ideal solution. Get in touch with us at 219-292-0956 to get started today!