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When Will the HVAC Efficiency Standards Be Raised?


Many people know that it is important for the U.S. to adopt some measures to help reduce the amount of energy consumed each year. In order to address this problem, back in 2009, the Department of Energy worked with experts in both the utilities and HVAC industries to come up with an effective way of increasing HVAC efficiency standards. The goal was to implement higher standards that would raise annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings from an AFUE of 78 to a new minimum of 90. This increase in HVAC efficiency could make a major impact in reducing energy consumption.

The problem, however, was that these new minimum AFUE requirements would inflict a heavy financial burden on many homeowners. In order to comply with the minimum 90 AFUE HVAC efficiency standard, homeowners would need to install a condensing furnace as this is currently the only type of combustible heating unit capable of meeting the required minimum standard. Unfortunately, installing a condensing furnace is not as easy as one might think. This type of furnace has its own unique requirements and would mean homeowners would need extensive retrofitting in order to modify their homes for this type of heating system.

Not only would homes need to be retrofitted, but the costs associated with this would likely be very high. This is especially true for anyone who has an attached home where gaining access to the exterior walls could be problematic. With the high costs and challenging retrofitting that would be necessary to install a condensing furnace, HVAC industry experts argued against the implementation of the new HVAC efficiency standards. So, for now, the courts have decided to delay implementation; however, with the case still tied up in the court system, the final outcome is yet to be seen.

While implementing these new minimum HVAC efficiency standards is up in the air, it is still possible for homeowners to reap the benefits of efficient HVAC equipment. A local HVAC contractor can offer expert advice on the installation of an energy efficient HVAC system or provide fast, dependable repairs or maintenance. When you need HVAC service, give a local HVAC professional a call.


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