The U.S. Department of Energy has recently begun revising legislation on heating efficiency standards for furnaces. In 2011, the efficiency level for non-weatherized furnaces was set at 80% to 90% for different regions of the country, but a uniform increase to 92% efficiency has been proposed. What does this increase mean, and how will it affect your heating system? Here we hope to clear up some of those questions as we explain the new proposed efficiency standards.
Heating is the largest expense for American households, and it accounts for about 40% of their yearly utility bill. Considering the large impact of heating, the DOE is aiming to set a higher standard of energy efficiency to protect the environment from harmful gases that are emitted during fuel burning from furnaces. Their hopes are that a uniform standard of 92% efficiency in non-weatherized gas furnaces (which are the most common heaters in the US) will indeed reduce fuel emissions and avoid wasting fuel on inefficiency.
How Does This Affect Me?
If enacted, this efficiency increase will affect new furnace models, and would not require homeowners to remove their current systems. But many climate advocacy groups claim that the costs of this proposed efficiency increase outweigh the benefits. Heating is not simply a home luxury, it is nearly a necessity – and many Americans may struggle to afford such efficient systems due to their high price. This could leave many homes with poorly maintained, unsafe, and unreliable heating systems. Additionally, the energy savings from a 92% efficient system may never pay for the cost of the new system.
Final action on the proposed efficiency increase should come in December 2015. Until then, if your furnace or heating system needs a tune up for the upcoming fall, call our professionals at (817) 431-4742!