The federal government says it is time to mandate the new efficiency ratings of furnaces in the northern regions of the United States. Every so often this occurrence takes place with furnaces as well as central air conditioning energy efficiency ratings. This is no different than the automotive fuel economy minimum standards. According to the EPA, reducing the carbon foot print is the real goal.
How will the new 2013 furnace efficiency laws will affect your home? If you live in a single family home with one furnace and have a basement, the new law will not affect you a whole lot. With the new high efficient furnaces, the venting is through PVC piping. The PVC becomes your new chimney that vents horizontally out the side wall of your home. Now, the new high efficient furnaces can be vented through the roof if there is a way to run the PVC piping up and out the roof line. The existing chimney will still be used for your hot water tank. Basically, there will be a 2” or 3” PVC stub protruding out the side wall and turning up ninety degrees about 2 feet with another ninety degree elbow facing down towards the ground. The reason for this is for snow. If the snow gets too high, it can cause the furnace to stop working. There are flat side wall vent outlets as well as long as snow levels are not a concern in that particular venting location. The main thing that will affect you is that you will no longer be able to purchase an 80% efficient furnace any longer.
If you are needing a new furnace, now is the time to replace it. Between now and May 2013, prices are only going to go up as 80% efficient furnaces run out of stock.