New Government laws passed for 2013 MUST READ

New Government laws passed for 2013 MUST READ



Should You Replace

Your Furnace


In 2007, the U.S. Congress passed the Energy

Security and Independence Act (the “2007

Energy Bill”). This bill set a new precedent by

allowing the Department of Energy (DOE) to

develop regional standards for the installation

location of heating and cooling equipment.

In northern states, high-efficiency furnaces

are required after May 1, 2013.

Will This Affect You?

Those who will be impacted the most by the

new regional standards are people that live in

the North Region and have a non-condensing

gas furnace. The upcoming regional standards

will require that gas furnaces installed in the

North Region have at least 90% Annual Fuel

Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating, compared

to the current 78% AFUE, effectively excluding

the use of non-condensing furnaces and requiring

the installation of condensing furnaces

in the North Region. Will you be affected?

See for yourself what the DOE considers the

North Region:

How Will This Impact You?

If you live in the North Region, you may be

looking at costly issues when it comes time

to replace your existing furnace. The three

main issues likely to arise when replacing a

non-condensing furnace with a condensing


1. Equipment space constraints

2. Exhaust venting requirements

3. Condensate disposal

Many homes have limited space for furnaces,

and condensing furnaces and their different

space requirements may not fit in your furnace’s

current location. This could mean renovations,

knocking down walls, and losing living

space. An alternative would be to relocate the

equipment, but this brings other issues.

Requirements for venting the exhaust for

condensing furnaces differ from those for noncondensing

units. What if the best new venting

path for the condensing furnace runs through

space that belongs to a neighbor? Also, if the

non-condensing unit used a common vent

with other appliances, it may be necessary to

resize the vent if one of the appliances is

removed. Finally, the exiting exhaust is designed

to be an appropriate distance dictated by the

building code from features like windows,

doors, dryers, vented gas regulators, etc.

The new furnace must also comply with code,

and its venting path may require the unit to

be moved, even if there is enough room at

the current location!

The third major technical issue would

be how to dispose of the water condensate

produced by the new furnace. If the current

unit is a non-condensing furnace, there was no

condensate. A condensing furnace, however,

will require attention to collecting and disposing

of condensate before it can freeze and

lead to water overflow, which can damage

the building.

A solution to some of these issues would

be to ‘simply’ move the equipment. Unfortunately,

that would necessitate re-designing and

re-sizing the duct system, as well as installing

new components. Additionally, moving the

furnace would also require re-routing the gas

piping and electrical power. Are you prepared

for all these possible (and likely) issues? Is

your wallet?

What Will You Do?

The new regional standards will require the installation

of condensing furnaces in the North

Region starting on May 1, 2013. It may be wise

to upgrade your current, older non-condensing

gas furnace for a new non-condensing gas

furnace before that date. Otherwise, you will

likely be required to install a condensing

furnace and deal with the added complications.

Your HVAC contractor can provide an estimate

that includes both furnace options.



     In addition to the above passed law for the 80% furnace. The Department of Energy  has banned the sale of NEW R-22 air conditioning units. This will affect approximately 10+ billion homes in the United States.

     All residents will be forced to install the new Puron freon system when the time comes to replace the system IF it can no longer be fixed. These systems are not the best for your home according so some HVAC companies that have experience installing them.

      One of many concerns are that the system is costly due to it needing a new A-coil. The pressures are incredibly different , much higher. This requires a different coil. Also this is dangerous for the technican and installer to service.  R-410a  is a much warmer freon than R-22 and needs excellent airflow to work properly with your system. With that being said there is a chance that your existing furnace may not be adequate to properly cool your home with your new R410a system.

     Consider your options NOW before its too late.