Your Furnace and the 92% Rule

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The U.S. Department of Energy has recently pushed for an increase in furnace efficiency by proposing a uniform 92% level of efficiency in non-weatherized gas furnaces. To help furnace owners understand how their systems may be affected, we dive into the details of what an energy efficiency increase could mean.

Heating is the largest utility expense for Americans, so it is clear why the DOE is aiming improve efficiency and reduce emissions in this important area. Previously, the energy efficiency standard for furnaces ranged from 80% to 90% in different regions of the country. Now, the DOE is proposing a uniform increase to 92% efficiency for non-weatherized gas furnaces in hopes of reducing wasted fuel and harmful emissions.

How Does This Affect My System?

If enacted, the efficiency increase would not require furnace owners to involuntarily replace their existing furnaces. The increase rather means that new systems must meet these requirements. While a 92% increase in efficiency will indeed be beneficial for the environment, the costs of the increase may outweigh the benefits. The energy savings from new systems may never pay for the cost of the system itself. Additionally, many Americans may struggle to afford these new systems, pushing them to continue using poorly maintained or unsafe systems.

What are your thoughts on increasing efficiency standards for furnaces? Final word on the proposed increase should come in December 2015. If you need heating or cooling service in the meantime, call extreme at one of our locations.