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 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 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 reduce emissions, save consumers money and promote sustainability.

The updated standards are estimated to:

  • Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
  • Cut 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 mandate all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would convert 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, very little, 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. Learn 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 decreases the amount of energy wasted, improves energy efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions. It also requires less natural gas to create the same volume of heat 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 that the former uses a secondary heat exchanger to capture 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 is dependent on the brand, model and other factors. Generally speaking, 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 Cost More

Generally, condensing furnaces enhanced precision is much more efficient than traditional furnaces, as it only uses the minimum amount of energy required to heat your home, saving you money in the long run.

Many 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 Nonstop?

A variable-speed furnace doesn’t operate all the time. Rather, it runs at different speeds according to the temperature in your Port Clinton 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 switch to a higher speed to handle the 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. On the low stage, the furnace operates at a reduced capacity to help maintain the preferred temperature at your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead operate at full capacity to meet demands for increased heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can maintain improved energy efficiency and comfortable temperatures all across your home.

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

Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run 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 sustain a desired temperature more efficiently within your home. When a greater demand for energy is needed to reach the set temperature, the heating system shifts to its high stage and operates at full capacity. As a result, 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 in order to uphold a desired temperature within your home. When more warmth or cooling is desired, the furnace will switch to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.

Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can function at a variety of speeds in order to keep a comfortable 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 of operation and operate either at full power or not at all. This translates to higher energy bills because the furnace runs constantly in order to maintain a desired level of comfort at home.

Conversely, two-stage furnaces 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 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 Ohler & Holzhauer Inc. Today

Making sense of modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Ohler & Holzhauer Inc. professionals are here to help with a no-obligation, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating needs and your budget before helping you find the right solution. Call us at 419-465-8722 to get started today!