When Will Higher HVAC Efficiency Standards Take Effect?

In an attempt to reduce the amount of energy used to heat homes in the U.S., in 2009, the Department of Energy worked with experts in the utility and HVAC industries to improve the efficiency of HVAC equipment. The higher HVAC efficiency standards were supposed to take effect in 2013; however, the implementation of these higher standards was delayed by court order. Unfortunately, it became clear that in order to implement the higher standards for HVAC efficiency, many homeowners would face a financially difficult situation.

The idea was to raise AFUE, annual fuel utilization efficiency, from its present minimum of 78 to an AFUE of 90. Of course, HVAC equipment with a 90 AFUE would certainly reduce energy consumption, but implementing this higher standard seems to be much more difficult than was anticipated. For one thing, the only type of HVAC equipment that could deliver this higher efficiency is a condensing furnace. Unfortunately, installation of a condensing furnace requires modifying and retrofitting a home’s existing systems to accommodate an entirely different type of heating system.

A condensing furnace not only utilizes two different heating methods, but it also requires modifying existing equipment in order to provide a different venting system. A condensing furnace utilizes heat that would typically be dispersed through the chimney by condensing the hot water vapor and sending it through the plumbing system. While this definitely helps increase the efficiency of the HVAC equipment, it becomes a problem when existing homes require extensive retrofitting that can be very expensive.

After arguments from industry experts in the HVAC field, the court system has delayed implementation of the higher AFUE standards. The higher HVAC efficiency standards are still within the court system and it is impossible to say when or if these standards will ever be adopted. For now, homeowners can improve the efficiency of their home’s heating system by choosing high efficiency equipment. This will help to reduce energy usage as well as keep heating bills as low as possible.

When you want the very best in HVAC efficiency or if you need HVAC repairs or service, give a local HVAC contractor a call. They have the trained technicians to help you with all of your HVAC installation, repair or maintenance needs.

Category: Air Conditioning, Energy Savings, HVAC System Tags: ,