Did you know that more than one-half of your home’s energy costs are from 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 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 generating heat.

In 2022, the U.S. government recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would greatly decrease emissions, save customers money and promote sustainability.

These revised standards are anticipated to:

  • Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
  • Lower 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 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.

So what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? Currently, not much, as the proposed rule won't go into effect until 2029 at the earliest and doesn’t 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 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 style 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, enhances energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also will take less natural gas to create the same rate of heat compared 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 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 is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, a condensing furnace should last between 10-20 years with proper maintenance and regular service. If your heating system doesn’t have regular furnace maintenance, the equipment may have a significantly shorter life span.

Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment

Typically, condensing furnaces type of system is significantly more efficient than standard, single-speed 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 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 Nonstop?

A variable-speed furnace doesn’t need to stay on all the time. Alternatively, it runs at different speeds depending on the temperature in your Port St. Lucie home as well as the amount of energy it requires to reach 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. 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. On the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity as a way to maintain the desired temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to satisfy demands for greater heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can enjoy enhanced energy efficiency and balanced temperatures everywhere in your home.

While two-stage furnaces are highly efficient, not all all types 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 runs at limited capacity in order to retain a planned temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to maintain the set temperature, the heating system shifts to its high stage and operates at full capacity. For this reason, two-stage furnaces are able to help reduce energy costs without operating constantly.

Comparing 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 in order to maintain 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 run at several speeds in order to uphold a desired temperature more consistently 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 fan speed and operate either at full capacity or not at all. This means that 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. During the low stage, the furnace runs at lower capacity in order to maintain the desired temperature more efficiently. When additional warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.

Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Custom Air Systems Inc Today

Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Custom Air Systems Inc professionals 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 best solution. Call us at 772-247-2283 to get started today!