BREAKING NEWS: In a pending settlement on (1/11/13), the Department of Energy (DOE) has agreed to withdraw the pending minimum energy conservation standards that include regional standards for residential non-weatherized and mobile home gas furnaces. The term “non-weatherized furnace” is used to define furnaces that are designed to be placed indoors.
According to the terms of the settlement, portions of the June 27, 2011 Direct Final Rule setting the minimum AFUE standards for residential non-weatherized and mobile home gas furnaces at 90% in the Northern region and 80% in the Southeastern and Southwestern regions is vacated, along with the pending May 1, 2013 compliance date.
Pending the Court’s acceptance of this settlement, non-condensing furnaces remain legal to install in all states until further notice.
The DOE also agrees that it will initiate a new rulemaking for minimum energy conservation standards for residential furnaces and allow stakeholders the opportunity to comment.
The portions of the Direct Final Rule setting new minimum energy efficiency standards for central air conditioners and heat pumps, including any regional standards, remain in place, along with the January 1, 2015, compliance date.
On December 23, 2011, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) challenged the Direct Final Rule in a suit brought in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Last year ACCA joined the case as an Intervenor aligning with the APGA. Should the settlement agreement be accepted by the Court, this case would be resolved.
More details and analysis of this settlement will be forthcoming once it is accepted by the Court.
ACCA, Vice President of Government Relations
Proposed Furnace Efficiency Requirements
How does this affect you as a homeowner if you have a 80% AFUE furnace?
- Any furnace replacement and/or installation after May 1 2013, will require a 90%+ AFUE furnace for northern tier states. See map for state requirements pictured above.
- 90%+ furnaces are condensing units, meaning they emit water vapor along with carbon dioxide in the flue gases which will rust the sheet metal piping (the Flue) that 80% furnaces are exhausted with. Due to the corrosion, 90%+ furnaces require a new PVC air intake and exhaust to be installed.
- Depending on the location of the new 90%+ furnace; the PVC air intake and exhaust may be exposed in the interior of buildings and may require minor remodeling following the installation.
- A chimney liner may also be required at the time of the 90+ furnace installation for existing atmosheric venting water heaters.
- The Federal Furnace Efficiency Law is still applies until the proposed settlement is approved.
Federal Furnace Efficiency Law Installation Example
The furnace installed by Unique Indoor Comfort, pictured to the right; is an example of PVC venting. The PVC air intake and exhaust were vented through the only option available – the basement foundation wall. After exiting the foundation wall the PVC was retro fitted to raise the intake and exhaust above the snowline in accordance with the municiple code.
Call us today to schedule a Free Estimate on replacing your furnace!
For more information on the Department of Energy’s rules and regulation for this mandate intended to be implemented from 2015 to 2018, please click on the PDF file below.