ACHRNEWS

New Energy Star Labels for Furnaces

June 18, 2012
WASHINGTON — As of Feb. 1, 2012, HVAC distributors, contractors, and homeowners are able to purchase Energy Star qualified furnaces that meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new stringent efficiency requirements.

Different efficiency requirements and labels are being used for different regions of the country. Qualified furnaces in the Southern half of the U.S., where homes require less heat, will be labeled with a unique “U.S. South” Energy Star logo. These furnaces will be up to 12 percent more efficient than standard models and can save an average of $26 in gas (2.5 MMBtu) and $10 in electricity costs (93 kWH) per year.

Qualified furnaces in the Northern half of the country will be labeled with the standard Energy Star logo. These furnaces will be up to 16 percent more energy efficient than baseline models and can save an average of $80 in gas (7.6 MMBtu) and $14 in electricity (132 kWh) costs per year.

“If every domestic gas furnace sold were to meet these updated requirements, consumers would save more than $170 million annually and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from roughly 175,000 vehicles,” said Britt Thompson, EPA Energy Star representative.

New specifications also require efficient furnace fans. An efficient furnace fan is a required attribute of an Energy Star qualified furnace. A new metric, furnace fan efficiency (the ratio of furnace fan electrical consumption to total consumption), must be no more than 2 percent.

Models offered in multiple configurations (such as upflow, lowboy, downflow, and horizontal), must be tested to meet the regional Energy Star levels in all configurations.

Publication date: 6/18/2012