As the years go by, energy efficiency standards change with the ever changing technology. It often takes longer for the law to catch up than it does for the technology to be developed, and there are other factors that play into the laws that don’t necessarily impact the fact that we have the technology to be more energy efficient.
To be a bit more clear, I am talking about the law set up by the Department of Energy that would have required many northern states to only manufacture and sell furnaces that were 90% efficient or greater. The law was to take effect on May 1st 2013, but it has since been repealed, and this can be looked at as both a good and bad outcome for this legislation.
The Good and The Bad
- The Bad: With the repeal of this law, the energy efficiency standards stay where they are currently at: 80% AFUE. This isn’t bad, but increasing the standard to 90% AFUE would amount to a drastic decrease in carbon dioxide emissions in the northern half of this country. It would have been a smart step towards having a greener country by reducing waste and pollution. Unfortunately, this is a benefit we will not yet experience.
- The Good: The good news is for homeowners who probably couldn’t afford a 90% AFUE furnace if they were forced to buy one. These units are significantly more expensive than the base model 80% furnaces, and with the economy in its current state, many of us are still struggling to make ends meet.
Investing In High Efficiency Furnace Pays You Back
One final aspect to consider would be the long term savings that these high efficiency units would produce for struggling families. If you can afford the initial investment, your new high efficiency furnace will begin to pay you back in the form of lower energy bills. Just because the law is gone doesn’t mean you can’t still upgrade to a high efficiency furnace. So, make your choice when your furnace needs to be replaced, and consider all of your options to find the best furnace for your home and your budget.