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

In 2022, the U.S. government proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially lower emissions, save homeowners money and stimulate sustainability.

These revised standards are projected to:

  • Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
  • Cut carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons over the next 25 - 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.

With these facts in mind, you may be asking yourself "what happens to my existing furnace"? As of now, not much, as the proposed rule will not go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and will 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 trap wasted heat from the furnace's exhaust gases. This reduces the quantity of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also involves less natural gas to create the same rate of heat when comparing one 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 capture any wasted heat from its exhaust gases, while the other does not.

Equipment Lifespan

The life span of a condensing furnace depends on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace is likely to last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If you put off scheduled maintenance, the equipment may struggle to perform as well, ultimately failing earlier than anticipated.

Why Condensing Furnaces Are More Expensive

Generally, condensing furnaces enhanced precision is significantly more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy needed to heat your home, resulting in more savings on your utility bill.

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 Constantly?

A variable-speed furnace doesn’t run all the time. Instead, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your Weatherford home as well as the amount of energy it requires to sustain that temperature.

When sufficient energy is required to maintain your set temperature level, the furnace will switch to a higher speed in order to keep up with 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. During the low stage, the furnace performs at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain the preferred temperature at your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead function at peak capacity to meet demands for greater heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can maintain greater energy efficiency and balanced temperatures all across your home.

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

Does a Two-Stage Furnace Operate All the Time?

A two-stage furnace should not run constantly. In the low stage of operation, the furnace performs 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 unit switches to its high stage and runs at full capacity. As such, 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 operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced capacity to help maintain a desired level of comfort within your home. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is needed, the furnace will shift to its high stage and operate at maximum capacity.

Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can work at several speeds in order to uphold a more precise 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 motor and operate either at full capacity or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because 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 lower capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When a greater demand for warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.

Schedule Your Furnace Installation with Parker County Cooling & Heating Today

Making sense of modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Parker County Cooling & Heating experts 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 817-380-5213 to get started today!