80% efficient furnaces to be phased out soon.
Published: 12/14/2011 by Ted Gravlin
There's a dirty little secret that most HVAC companies wont tell you.
Buying a new furnace is about to get far more expensive after 2012. Some contractors are really salivating over this. I was recently at a dealer meeting for a major manufacturer where it was being discussed how GREAT it will be to have to charge more for installing a new heating system next year!
Most of our clients love a choice when it becomes necessary to replace thier heating system. Buying a furnace isn't as fun and sexy as some other types of purchases (Boat, motorcycle, new flat screen tv?). But at some point it needs to be done in every home.
Starting in 2013 the Federal Government has mandated new energy guidelines for furnaces. Put simply, in a climate like Denver where we have colder weather, new furnaces will have to be above 90% efficiency. That sounds like a great idea. But in many cases it's not always the best choice.
Most of our clients currently end up choosing some type of 80% efficient furnace. There are a lot of models available that seriously improve the comfort, safety and efficiency of almost any home.
The units that are being phased out can have several advantages when looking at the big picture.
- Shorter cabinet makes fitting to existing ductwork and A/C systems easier. That means improved airflow.
- They use the existing flue system. No need to run new (sometimes ugly) piping through areas of the home where this can sometimes be difficult (and expensive).
- Less intial cost. In most cases these cost at least $1000-$1500 less to have installed. A significant savings that can also buy quite a bit of energy. (the actual energy difference is often so little that the payback period is 10+ years)
If your unit is more than about 12 years old. It's probably time to consider at least looking at your true options before your choices become limited.