Where you aware that more than 50% of your home’s energy costs are needed for your heating and cooling? This is the reason why it’s essential to have 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 measures how effective your furnace is at converting natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace wastes about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.

In 2022, the U.S. government revealed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would significantly reduce emissions, save money and stimulate sustainability.

The updated standards are 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 three decades, the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.

Starting in 2029, the proposed rule would demand 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? Currently, not much, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and does not affect furnaces that are already in use.

But if your furnace is nearing the end of its life and a replacement is needed in soon, highly energy-efficient furnaces are now 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 style 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 greenhouse gas emissions. It also requires less natural gas to create the same rate of heat in comparison 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 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 depends on the brand, model and other factors. In most cases, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the unit may not last as long.

Why Condensing Furnaces Cost More

Usually, condensing furnaces enhanced precision is significantly more efficient than conventional furnaces, as it only consumes the minimum amount of energy required to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.

Most 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 Constantly?

A variable-speed furnace doesn’t need to stay on all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds based on the temperature in your Thousand Palms 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 increase to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. Precise fan speeds offer 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. During the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain the chosen temperature for your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead function at peak capacity to meet demands for increased heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can maintain greater energy efficiency and stable temperatures all across your home.

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

Does a Two-Stage Furnace Function All the Time?

A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at diminished capacity in order to retain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional energy is needed to sustain the set temperature, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operates at full capacity. Because of this, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs without operating continuously.

Comparing Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces

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

Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can work at several speeds in order to maintain a comfortable temperature at home. With more options for temperature settings, you also have more flexibility for heating you home and can enjoy greater savings on energy 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. As a result, the furnace runs constantly 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 lower capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at full capacity.

Make Your Furnace Installation Appointment with Marios Air Conditioning Today

Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Marios Air Conditioning specialists are here to help with a free, no-pressure quote for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Call us at 760-314-4766 to get started today!