High Efficiency Furnaces will be Required in Minnesota

Did you know, that in 2007, the US Congress passed the Energy and Independence Act (the “2007 Energy Bill”) that allows the Department of Energy to require only high-efficiency furnaces to be installed after May 1, 2013?

According to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America Asc. (ACCA), this Energy Bill will affect people in the Northern Region (including Minnesota and surrounding states) who  have a non-condensing gas furnace.  The new upcoming regional standards will require that gas furnaces in Minnesota have at least 90% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating, compared to the current 78% AFUE.   This standard will effectively require the installation of condensing furnaces instead of non-condensing furnaces.

It you have a non-condensing furnace, you may have expensive issues if furnace replacement time comes after May 1, 2013.  Replacing a non-condensing furnace with a condensing furnace involves requirements with venting the exhaust, additional equipment space limitations, and the disposal of condensate.   All of these HVAC requirements can lead to complications and extra cost to the homeowner.

Exhaust VentilationLennox furnace

Venting the exhaust for condensing furnaces is different from non-condensing units. Vents may need to be resized or redesigned to fit building code.

Space Limitations

If your home has limited space for a furnace, a condensing furnace may exceed the space in your current furnace’s location.  Sometimes renovations, relocation of HVAC equipment, or loss of living space is required.

Condensate Disposal

Non-condensing furnaces have no condensate.  But, a condensing furnace needs to have collection and disposal of condensate to avoid freezing or water flow, which could result in damage to the building.

Be Ahead of the Game

With the new standards requiring the installation of condensing furnaces in Minnesota starting May 1, 2013, homeowners may want to upgrade older non-condensing furnaces prior to that date. After May 1, 2013, homeowners will be required to install a condensing furnace and not have the option of replacing your non-condensing furnace with another non-condensing furnace.

Contact the HVAC Service Techs at Chappell Central for an estimate on both condensing and non-condensing gas furnace options soon. There are great rebates available for installation of Lennox furnaces through November 30, 2012.