ARLINGTON, Va. — In a letter to the Department of Energy (DOE), the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has requested an 18-month extension of the May 1, 2013 effective date for new regional efficiency standards for residential non-weatherized gas furnaces. AHRI said the proposed extension — to Nov. 1, 2014 — would give manufacturers adequate time to prepare for compliance with regional furnace standards and related standards enforcement and product labeling requirements, and ensure that any changes in furnace minimum standards coincide with the start of the 2014-2015 heating season.

AHRI asked that the Department of Energy grant the extension as soon as possible, to prevent manufacturers and distributors from beginning the costly endeavor of repositioning product offerings before the 2012-2013 heating season, which would likely result in stranded inventory.

In its direct final rule, DOE had adopted the AHRI-supported consensus making the effective date applicable to products manufactured on or after May 1, 2013. DOE has since taken the position that the effective date applies to products installed on or after May 1, 2013. AHRI said this change advances the implementation of regional standards by a minimum of eight months.

Allowing the extension would help avoid market disruptions and economic losses throughout the distribution channel, AHRI stated.

Publication date: 8/6/2012