Many people have heard about the proposed changes in the HVAC efficiency standards that the Department of Energy had worked to establish back in 2009. Unfortunately, while higher HVAC efficiency is something that many people want, the expected raise in AFUE from 78 to 90 required far more than many people were able to handle and a court order delayed implementation of the higher standards that were due to take effect in 2013.
With the goal of implementing heating standards for HVAC equipment to have an AFUE of 90, the only type of equipment capable of delivering this level of energy efficiency is a condensing furnace. Condensing furnaces offer exceptional energy efficiency; however, because of their design, they also require a completely different type of ventilation than traditional combustible HVAC equipment. This means homes would need to be retrofitted to accept the specific requirements of a condensing furnace and these modifications would be difficult and expensive, making them beyond the reach of many homeowners.
A condensing furnace gains increased efficiency due to its ability to utilize the vapor from hot water that is created during operation of a combustible heating system. This hot water vapor is condensed and drained into the plumbing system of the home. Rather than allowing the hot water vapor to escape up the chimney, wasting this valuable heating source, the condensing furnace is able to make use of it; however, this type of furnace also requires its own venting system.
For many homeowners, especially those in attached homes, retrofitting a condensing furnace to fit their home can be cost-prohibitive. The HVAC industry argued that the high cost of implementing the higher HVAC efficiency standards could financially harm some homeowners and, at least for now, the matter is stuck in the court system. Obviously, when the time comes to purchase new heating equipment, choosing equipment with high efficiency certainly makes sense, both from an environmental prospective as well as a budget sense. The higher the efficiency of your home’s heating equipment, the less energy and money you will waste in heating your home.
If you would like more information regarding efficient methods of heating your home or you need HVAC repairs, maintenance or service, contact a leading HVAC contractor for a quality solution.