The U.S Department of Energy, or the DOE, works hard to ensure that energy consumption in the U.S. is kept to a minimum. This is an effort to protect the environment as well as the few precious natural resources we have left. One of the DOE’s main areas of concentration is placed upon HVAC Efficiency.
Operating an HVAC unit takes a lot of energy. In fact, the energy consumed from heating and cooling systems make up a huge portion of annual energy costs for homeowners. In an attempt to lower the amount of energy consumed, the DOE created a system that is known as HVAC Efficiency Standards. Additionally the DOE created the AFUE rating, which is the annual fuel utilization efficiency rating for furnaces.
With a concentration in northern states where winter temperatures drop to extreme lows, the DOE placed an AFUE rating of 90 to be enforced in states such as New York. The current AFUE rating is 78 for gas furnaces and boilers in the DOE segmented northern states. Due to the costs of implementing a furnace system with an AFUE rating of 90 would put on homeowners, the enforcement of this rating is still under review and has been delayed temporarily in court.
A furnace with an AFUE rating of 90 only wastes approximately 10 percent of the fuel required to operate the furnace. Other furnaces with lower AFUE ratings waste a significantly higher amount of fuel. Unfortunately, an efficient condensing furnace that is rated with an AFUE of 90 can be very expensive, and the venting system required can be rather complicated to install in some homes. This runs the cost of switching to the more efficient system to being beyond the means of many homeowners.
Though homeowners love the idea of having a more efficient system, the modifications that need to be made to vent systems can cost a fortune. Due to the exorbitant costs of these modifications, along with the costs of new equipment, experts in the HVAC industry have opposed the new AFUE standards and are working with the DOE to create a better solution. Homeowners who want to install a more fuel efficient furnace or those wanting to learn more about AFUE ratings should contact a local HVAC company.