Many people are unaware of the proposed changes the Department of Energy tried to implement back in 2013. While they began working on new higher minimum requirements for HVAC efficiency in 2009, the changes were to be made effective in 2013. Unfortunately, this plan to decrease energy consumption ran into a few obstacles which resulted in a court delay for implementation of the new HVAC efficiency standards.
Basically, in order to reach the proposed AFUE or annual fuel utilization efficiency of 90 that the DOE was striving for, homeowners would need to install a condensing furnace in their home. The higher fuel efficiency of the condensing furnace would be the only combustible heating equipment capable of achieving the required level of HVAC efficiency.
The problem with the new requirements is that it would put many families in a very difficult financial position. While there would be the benefits of increased energy efficiency, retrofitting homes to meet these requirements would ultimately be very complicated and costly. A condensing furnace would require extensive retrofitting in an effort to make use of the two separate heat exchangers.
Most homes are equipped to handle the installation of a traditional heating system; however, with the condensing furnace, a second heat exchanger is necessary to capture and condense the hot water vapor which is created during the use of a combustible heating system. Rather than exhaust this wasted energy out of the home, the condensing furnace is able to capture it and use it to provide a more efficient way to heat the home.
There is certainly no doubt that a condensing furnace can meet the higher AFUE standards for increased HVAC efficiency, but it can also require a financial burden for the homeowner who must pay for extensive retrofitting and installation costs. Due to these problems, the HVAC industry was able to successfully argue against implementation of these higher standards, at this time. With a delay in implementation, homeowners still have an opportunity to increase the efficiency of their HVAC system.
Whether you need fast HVAC repairs or you want to discuss the benefits of a new high efficiency furnace or air conditioner, your local HVAC contractor can help. Give them a call today.