How The New Minimum Efficiency Standards Agreement Will Affect Us All

The Department Of Energy has passed a new law concerning the efficiency ratings of new furnaces.  New federal efficiency guidelines for new furnaces are starting as of May 1st, 2013. Since there is such a large carbon footprint that is being left on this earth, the federal government is pushing for more stringent guidelines for decreasing the consumption of fossil fuels in the northern region of the United States where we have more heating hours  (approximately 5000 hours).

What does this mean to us as consumers? No more 80% efficient furnaces!

What is a 80% efficient furnace and how do I tell if I have a 80% efficient furnace?  You just look at your flue pipe on top of your furnace that leads to the chimney.  If the flue piping is steel or metal, your furnace is 80% or less depending on the age of the furnace.  This is not so bad for home owners in single family homes, you will save money on your gas bills. However, you will be forced into purchasing the 90% efficient furnace over the 80% efficient furnace because of the new rule.  Yes, those 90% efficient furnaces will cost you more money.

The people that this new furnace efficiency standard will affect the most are those in mid rise and high rise condominiums and apartments that have individual furnaces as their source of heating. How will this affect them?  Those people who currently have 80% efficient furnaces and less have their flue pipe going onto a chimney that ties in with other condo or apartment furnace flue pipes that leads to the roof will have an issue.

Where the problem lies is with the new minimum 90% efficient furnaces is the venting.  In a mid rise or highrise building that has multiple units with furnaces, the new 90% furnaces will have pvc piping for venting.  The problem is where will the piping run through to get to the outdoors? Many of these high rise condos and apartments have open ceilings with spiral ducting.  The way many of these units are designed, there is no place to run the PVC piping that is needed so it has a nice clean look. In high rise buildings, tenants are going to have to pay scaffolding companies for hvac contractors to vent the new 90% efficient furnaces!

What is the solution to this soon to be problem?  Well, if you are in need of a new furnace (whether you live in a single family home, a mid-rise or a high rise), call Around The Town Heating and Cooling and we can give you a great price on 80% efficient furnaces before you can no longer get them!  You won’t have to worry about how the piping will have to run through your high rise, and we can save you a few bucks too!

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