Back in 2007, the United States Congress passed a bill called the Energy Security and Independence Act (the “2007 Energy Bill”). This bill set a new precedent by allowing the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop regional standards for the installation of heating and cooling equipment based on location. In northern states like ours, high-efficiency furnaces are required after May 1, 2013. In short, all new furnace installations will be required to have a 90% (or better) energy efficiency rating after this date.

There are a few things to keep in mind when considering the installation of new higher efficiency heating and cooling systems, including equipment space constraints, exhaust venting requirements and condensate disposal. For example, the high efficiency systems require PVC flue pipes and internal drainage for condensation that builds up in the pipes – all items your current system may not have.

So, if you’ve been thinking about having a new heating system installed in the near future, it may make a lot of sense to analyze the costs and benefits of installing that new system now before next year’s deadline. For consumers who don’t want to pay the extra money up front for the highest efficiency ratings, they may want to have an 80% furnace installed prior to May 1st.

On the other hand, the slightly higher upfront cost of installing a 90% efficient may be well worth the short-term burden. These high efficiency furnaces can save you a lot of money over their lifetime and can help put a real dent in your monthly energy bills. So, as always when it comes to decisions about home improvement projects, you will have to carefully weigh the options based on your individual needs and priorities.

If you need help or a recommendation on the type of furnace to install, you can always reach out to us here at BelRed. We’d be glad to discuss the benefits of any of these options and help personalize a plan for you.

Here is a story from a similar northern state, Indiana, that further illustrates these upcoming changes:

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