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 critical to maintain 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 turning natural gas into heat. An AFUE rating of 80% means your furnace loses about 20% of the fuel it uses while producing heat.

In 2022, President Biden recommended new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that would substantially lower emissions, save homeowners money and promote sustainability.

The updated standards are anticipated to:

  • Save Americans $1.9 billion annually.
  • Reduce 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 demand all new gas furnaces to feature AFUE ratings of 95%. This means furnaces would turn nearly 100% of the gas into usable heat.

So what does all of this mean for your existing furnace in 2023? As of now, very little, as the proposed rule wouldn’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 already available. Learn how these furnaces can help you save on energy bills now.

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, increases energy efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It also involves 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 collect 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 should last between 10-20 years with sufficient maintenance and regular service. If you don’t schedule routine maintenance, it may have a significantly shorter life span.

Why Condensing Furnaces Require a Higher Investment

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

Many 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 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 Belton home as well as the amount of energy it requires to reach that temperature.

When sufficient energy is required to maintain your preferred temperature level, the furnace will shift to a higher speed in order to keep up with demand. This allows for more efficient heating in your home while also providing 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. In the low stage, the furnace runs at a reduced capacity in order to maintain the preferred temperature in your home more efficiently. During the high stage, the furnace will instead run at maximum capacity to satisfy demands for more heat. With a two-stage furnace, you can experience enhanced energy efficiency and comfortable temperatures everywhere in your home.

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

Does a Two-Stage Furnace Run All the Time?

A two-stage furnace does not stay on indefinitely. In the low stage of operation, the furnace operates at reduced capacity in order to retain a preferred temperature more efficiently within your home. When additional 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 powerful enough to help reduce energy costs without operating continuously.

Contrasting Two-Stage and Variable-Speed Furnaces

Two-stage furnaces have two stages of functionality, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace performs at reduced capacity to help uphold a desired level of comfort within your home. When additional warmth or cooling is necessary, the furnace will change over to its high stage and operate at peak capacity.

Variable-speed furnaces, meanwhile, can run at multiple speeds in order to uphold a more precise 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 fan speed and operate either at full power or not at all. This means that the furnace runs constantly in order to maintain a desired temperature within your home.

Two-stage furnaces, by comparison, have two stages of operation, low and high. During the low stage, the furnace runs at reduced 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 full capacity.

Arrange Your Furnace Install Appointment with Myers Furnace Company Today

Modern furnace technology can be confusing. That’s why Myers Furnace Company professionals are here to help with a free, no-pressure estimate for furnace installation. We’ll assess your home, your heating requirements and your budget before helping you find the ideal solution. Contact us at 816-249-1619 to get started today!