In 2007, the US Congress passed the Energy Security and Independence Act. What this did was give the Department of Energy, the power to set regional standards for heating and cooling systems. As of May 1, 2013 the Department of Energy will phase out 80 percent efficient furnaces with some new laws that will go into affect and they will directly pertain to us in our northern climate. Some of these stipulations could have a direct adverse effecton your pocketbook.
"I know it needs to be replaced, but I'd like to get one more season out of it."
Some of you know me as your heating and air guy, or some of you hopefully will get to know me as your heating and air guy. I'm Tony Filippelli, owner of AirTek Heating and Air, serving the Plainfield, Naperville and surrounding areas. I hear the above statement every day.
I'm writing this article as a small educational piece, to inform my local customers, as to the goings on, in the HVAC industry. The Department of Energy is phasing out 80 percent efficient furnaces. We as consumers need to be aware of how that may impact us in the very near future.
How does this affect us?
The families that will be affected the most are those living in single family homes, condos or townhouses that have 80 percent non-condensing furnaces. To make that a little easier to understand, if you look at your furnace and it has a metal 3" or 4" pipe coming out the top of the furnace, you have an 80% non-condensing furnace. If you have plastic PVC pipes coming out instead, you are already compliant with the new law.
So now what do we do?....
That is more than likely what your asking yourself. If you're reading this and looking at the picture to the right, saying to yourself "Yup, my furnace looks just like that." Well here's what this law means to you. Congress and the Department of Energy have decided they do not want any 80 percent furnaces installed after May 1, 2013 in our northern region. If your current 80 percent is a few years old and running great, (which if you are one of my annual scheduled maintenance customers, it is most likely running great!) then you don't have much to worry about. Your furnace can go on to serve you an your family for its full life span. I can still come out and service it for many years to come and your family will be warm and comfortable. But, when it does meet its end, it will have to be replaced with a 90 percent or better furnace.
Customers with older furnaces
Now, those of you who have older furnaces, 10-15 years old or older. For the last couple of years, I have been coming out to service your furnaces and every year you state, "Well, I know it needs to be replaced, but I'd like to get one more season out of it." This is the group of people who will be affected by this new legislation. If I looked at you furnace last year and you told me that, now is the time to call. If you want to get another 80 percent furnace installed at a nice low cost, right now is the time. Seven months from now, I won't by law be able to sell you an 80 percent furnace. I will have to upgrade you to a 90 percent or better. Not only are those furnaces more expensive, but the install is more expensive as we well due to the fact we have to route new PVC intake and exhaust lines out of the side of your home and possibly re-sleeve your chimney, so your hot water heater will still work properly. The differences in the systems is dramatic, the 90 percent-plus systems will save you money on your electric and gas bills, so they definitely are a benefit to you.
Although there are a few things to take into consideration, if you live in a townhouse or a condo. Those new PVC pipes have to be routed outside, so your old steel exhaust is unusable. In many cases, your equipment is in the middle of your residence and major drywall renovations will need to be done to run those pipes across your home and out the sidewall. That is going to be very expensive and invasive to your home. Also those of you in single family homes with finished basements, we will more than likely be pulling out portions of your drywall ceiling to route those new intake and exhaust pipes.
Key points to take away from this
If you have an aging 80 percent furnace and would like to stay with an 80 percentfurnace replacement. Acting now and replacing it would be very advantageous.
- I have Armstrong Air 80 percent furnaces starting at $1,695 installed!
- If you wait till May 1 or after, I will be mandated by law to upgrade to a 90 percent or better!
- 9 percent or better furnaces Start at $2,695 with basic installation. Now if there's drywall issues or brick wall issues to deal with, the price will increase with those labor and material charges. So it could be significantly more expensive if you wait.
I know it's a lot of information to take in. I will be happy to come out and take a look at your system and perform your fall maintenance at my current special rate of $59. I can advise you on the best course of action regarding this new legislation. Or, if you said last fall, "I know it's old, but I'd like to get one more season out of it," call me for an estimate. Estimates for new installs are always free of charge. We will sit down with a cup of coffee and I will show you and explain in detail all of your options and help you find a solution that will fit your budget.
AirTek Heating and Air inc.