The Department of Energy has the authority to develop minimum efficiency standards and can establish Regional Standards as a component of these regulatory changes. The northern states will be impacted by the changes that the DOE sets forth. In fact, the number of heating hours is more than doubled the cooling hours in this region.
Because of these standards, we recommend that you migrate your system to 90%-efficient furnaces. These furnaces are labeled as “condensing furnaces”. However, before you jump in and purchase a new condensing furnace, there are several items to consider before you replace your non-condensing furnace with the condensing type.
You should consider the following and how it may impact you:
- Equipment Space Constraints –
Can the new furnace fit in the old one’s spot? How big is the new furnace going to be?
- Exhaust Venting Requirements –
What all do you need to have to make the new one work? What’s the cost comparison?
- Condensate Disposal –
Do I have the means to eliminate the condensation produced by my new condensing furnace? Do I need to call my local HVAC expert for information?
The space requirements do vary with this equipment change but the real focus is on the exhaust venting requirements. These may be the most difficult to accommodate in your home or office. It is possible that you may need to give up living space or modifying ceilings and soffits in order to complete the installation of the new furnace.
These complications will need to be reviewed and may provide for additional costs than the single cost of the furnace. The good news is that your energy usage will be less! You may also consider a Hybrid option, which could save you additional operating costs depending on your utility rates for natural gas, propane, and electricity. In many areas, your Electric Utility or Co-op may have additional incentives or rebates available. Your heating and cooling professional can help you evaluate your alternatives to provide you the best option at the best value.
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