Changes to Furnace Regulations to Take Affect Next Year

By KBJR News 1

December 14, 2012 Updated Dec 14, 2012 at 7:22 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - They are made to keep your home warm, but depending on how old your furnace is, it may soon be out of service, whether it still works or not.

"After May 1st of 2013 you will no longer be able to purchase an 80 percent efficient furnace or less. The new regulations call for furnaces to be 90 percents," said Bruce Welman, co owner of Aire Serv, a heating and air conditioning distrubuter and instaler.

In 2007 congress passed the Energy Security and Independence act, which developed regional standards for heating and cooling systems.

Under this act people in cold weather climates, such as Minnesota and Wisconsin, will need to have a furnace that operates at 90 percent of annual fuel efficiency.

Annual fuel efficiency is a measurement that determines just how efficient a furnace is.

The new regulations take effect on May 1 of 2013.

"Eighty cents out of every dollar are staying in your house and 20 cents are going up your chimney, with a 90 or 95 percent anything 90 percent is staying in your house," said Welman.

Town home and cabin owners should be particularly aware of this change because the new types of 90-efficient furnaces could create some problems.

"You can't let a 90 percent efficient furnace freeze, it has to be in a heated space, 32 degrees and warmer," said Welman.

This change is not only affecting home owners but also, distributors and installers like R.E. Michel Company in Duluth.

"We have a lot of branches in the southern region, so when the time comes we can ship them down to our southern branches, but the smaller whole sellers are going to be stuck with a lot of inventory," said Fred Trettin from R.E Michel Company INC. in West Duluth.

If someone installs a furnace that operates at less than 90 percent efficiency in the northern regions, the installer could face fines.

However there is nothing in place at this time to enforce that regulation.

Learn more about the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson