Did you know that more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are from your heating and cooling? This is why it’s so important to maintain 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 calculates 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 generating heat.

In 2022, the Biden Administration revealed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially reduce emissions, save homeowners money and promote sustainability.

This proposal is anticipated to:

  • Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
  • Cut 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 mandate 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 help you save on energy bills now.

Guide to Condensing Furnaces

How Condensing Furnaces Work

A condensing furnace is a type of heating system that uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This limits the quantity of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also requires less natural gas to generate the same amount of heat when compared 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 condensing models use a secondary heat exchanger to gather any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the latter does not.

How Long Condensing Furnaces Last

The life span of a condensing furnace will depend on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace will last between 10-20 years with appropriate maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may not last as long.

Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive

Usually, condensing furnaces are more expensive than non-condensing furnaces. This is because of their increased efficiency and the extra components necessary to capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases. However, the additional energy savings can often offset the cost of purchase. So ultimately, it may be more cost efficient to consider investing in a condensing furnace.

Guide to Variable-Speed Furnaces

Variable-Speed Furnaces: What They Are and How They Work

A variable-speed furnace can vary its fan speed to minimize the energy necessary to satisfy the heating preferences of your home. It starts at a slower speed until it detects a drop in temperature and then speeds up to supply more heat. This [precise fan is much more efficient than standard, single-speed furnaces, as it only utilizes the minimum amount of energy required 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. 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 operate all the time. Alternatively, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your Holbrook home as well as the amount of energy it uses to reach that temperature.

When sufficient energy is necessary to maintain your desired temperature level, the furnace will shift to a higher speed to manage the higher demand. Doing this will ensure 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 heating system with two settings of operating - high and low - is called a two-stage furnace. When set to the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain the chosen temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead operate at full capacity to satisfy demands for more heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can maintain greater energy efficiency and comfortable temperatures throughout your home.

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

Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?

A two-stage furnace won’t run all the time. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at limited capacity in order to retain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to reach the set temperature, the unit shifts to its high stage and operates at full capacity. As a result, two-stage furnaces are powerful enough to help reduce energy costs without operating around the clock.

Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces

Two-stage furnaces have two stages of operation, 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 needed, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.

Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can operate at multiple speeds in order to uphold a more precise temperature at home. As such, variable-speed furnaces offer greater savings on your utility bills .

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. Consequently, the furnace is always running in order to maintain a desired comfort level within your home.

Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, have two stages of operation, low and high. While in the low stage, the furnace runs at lower capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When more warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.

Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Fal-Ken Heating & Cooling Corporation Today

Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Fal-Ken Heating & Cooling Corporation experts are here to help with a no-obligation, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget before helping you find the ideal solution. Contact us at 631-460-5159 to get started today!