Changes In Furnace Efficiency Standards: What Fort Collins Homeowners Should Know
Changes in furnace efficiency standards are on the horizon for Fort Collins homeowners. That’s good news, because as more homeowners adopt higher-efficiency systems, greenhouse gas emissions will be lowered, natural resources will be conserved, demand on foreign fuel supplies will be reduced and — perhaps the most motivating factor of all — energy bills will go down. Here’s how the changes in furnace efficiency standards — and changes in efficiency standards for other HVAC equipment — will affect your bottom line.
The Department of Energy has established new guidelines for furnace efficiency, which are set to go into effect on May 1, 2013. Until now, there has been one set of efficiency standards for the entire nation. It stands to reason, however, that heating requirements in a state such as Colorado aren’t the same as those in Florida. So the Department of Energy has established three regions with their own standards: the north, the south and the southwest. Colorado is in the north region. After May 1, any new furnace going into your home must have a minimum annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of 90 percent. This is a considerable bump in the AFUE standard, which is currently 78 percent for the nation. Homeowners in the south and southwest regions will see the AFUE minimum rise to 80 percent.
More changes are set for Jan. 1, 2015. After that time, residential heat pumps — wherever they’re installed in the United States — will need to have a minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 14 and a heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) of 8.2 (up from the existing SEER 13 and HSPF 7.7). Air conditioner standards will remain the same for the north region: SEER 13. But air conditioners installed in the south region will need a SEER rating of at least 14.
So what does all this mean for your bottom line? When it comes to replacing a furnace, you may see higher upfront costs, as high-efficiency furnaces have advanced features to promote a reduction in energy consumption. But over time, these systems offer homeowners lower lifetime costs in terms of fewer repairs and higher energy savings. You may also be pleased to know that your home will have a reduced carbon footprint.
Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning serves homeowners in greater Fort Collins with quality HVAC-system installation and repairs.Contact us for more information about changes in furnace efficiency standards.