Okheatingandair Blog

Efficiency Standards For HVAC Equipment: Are They Going Up Soon?

The more we learn about energy consumption and its effects on the environment, the more evident it becomes that we must strive harder to reduce the amount of energy we use in many arenas. One of these arenas is home heating and cooling. Not only can it be expensive to heat and cool our homes, it can also be taxing on the environment.

With this fact in mind, the U.S. Department of Energy, or DOE for short, met with a group of utility and HVAC experts in 2009 to determine new HVAC efficiency standards for heating and cooling equipment in the home. These new standards were set to be legally in place in 2013.

However, after further research and examination of these standards and what they mean for consumers, homeowners, and those in the HVAC industry, a court order stopped these standards from being set into motion, at least for the time being.

The new standards require furnaces to have a minimum annual fuel utilization efficiency of 90, at least in Northern States, such as New York. Currently, the minimum standard is 78. With a minimum annual fuel utilization efficiency rating of 90, a combustion furnace system has less than 10 percent fuel waste.

From an environmental standpoint, these are great standards.
However, from a financial and practical standpoint, the new standards are a nightmare. The new furnace systems have different venting requirements that will require many homes to be retro-fitted with new ventilation systems, especially those homes with poor access to exterior walls. The courts have temporarily delayed and denied the new standards based on the potential financial burden they could create for many American homeowners.

This case will follow the legal process until it is determined what should be done. Up until that point, the current efficiency standard of 78 minimum annual fuel utilization efficiency remains in place. However, in the meantime, consumers who wind up needed a new furnace anyway can select condensing furnaces to help lower fuel consumption.

If you have questions or concerns about your HVAC system, would like to learn more about energy efficiency in your home, or need part of your heating or cooling system repaired, contact your local hvac professional today.

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