Any speculation on why DOE was not able to make its new minimum federal standard for furnaces stick?
And what effect this will have on the furnace market? Virtually all furnaces installed in Wisconsin now are 90+, and 40% have ECMs, as this data collected by the Energy Center of Wisconsin shows,
so the new minimum standard (which requires AFUE 90 for northern states) would be expected have been a useful "floor" under our current market, to buttress our efficiency gains.
Now that ENERGY STAR is 95 for northern states, PLUS a fan efficiency minimum, the proportion of ENERGY STAR furnaces installed has dropped. But the ENERGY STAR level has the salutary effect of shoring up gains from the federal tax incentives. For some northern states like Wisconsin, ENERGY STAR is once again a representative of the best-performing end of the market, now that 90 is ho-hum ordinary. Do we have better numbers now on availability of ENERGY STAR furnaces, cost, and cost-effectiveness? It probably varies quite a bit by local area (including heating degree days, cost of natural gas, markups by HVAC installers, etc.). Chime in if you have numbers or observations on this. It would be nice to see more programs re-up with ENERGY STAR requirements for furnaces, now that it's more meaningful again to commit to those.
I'll be interested to see how this plays out!
Utterly ridiculous. If they really want to reduce energy costs set a limit on the size of the furnace that can be installed based on the age/location and sqft of the home. Make the contractor install it right so it gets it's delivered capacity and fix the house/ductwork. Oversized systems are just a bandaid for improper installations or to 'fix' leaky homes. This is what drives utility bills up, not the 10% extra gas a 80% furnace uses.
I read an article a few years back where the authors claim was that the added cost of regionalizing systems and labeling them as such would be cost prohibitive....just imagine having to make a tag that would help the general public make a more informed decision on the biggest home appliance they'll purchase..... Smells like the work of the fossil fuel industry if ya ask me.