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

Furnace efficiency standards were last modified 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 will waste 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 substantially decrease emissions, save money and stimulate sustainability.

These revised standards are expected 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 annually.

Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would require all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would turn nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.

With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? For the time being, next to nothing, as the proposed rule wouldn’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. 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 quantity of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also will take less natural gas to produce the same rate 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 collect 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. In most cases, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If you put off scheduled maintenance, the unit may have a significantly shorter life span.

Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive

Usually, condensing furnaces type of system is much more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only consumes the minimum amount of energy needed to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.

The majority of 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 Constantly?

A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your Oxford home as well as the amount of energy it uses to sustain that temperature.

When sufficient energy is needed 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 offering quieter operation.

Guide to Two-Stage Furnaces

Two-Stage Furnaces: What They Are and How They Work

A two-stage furnace is a type of heating system that utilizes two different stages of operation — high and low. When set to the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain the desired temperature for 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 balanced temperatures all across your home.

While two-stage furnaces are exceptionally efficient, not all all models are condensing furnaces.

Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?

A two-stage furnace does not stay on indefinitely. In the low stage of operation, the furnace runs at reduced capacity in order to sustain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When more energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the heating system shifts to its high stage and operates at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are proven to help reduce energy costs without operating constantly.

Differences Between 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 desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.

Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can operate at multiple 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 fan speed and operate either at full power or not at all. Consequently, the furnace runs constantly in order to maintain a desired temperature at home.

Two-stage furnaces, by comparison, 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 additional warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.

Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc Today

It takes experience and dedication to stay up to date about furnace technology advancements. That’s why Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc specialists are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Contact us at 662-281-1231 to get started today!