Furnaces are complex major appliances designed to heat your home. Since the 1930s, modern furnaces have been used in homes as a form of central heating. Fuel, whether it is oil, gas, or electric, heats either burners or coils to a certain temperature before an electrically-powered fan blows the now heated air through the ducts of your home. Over time this process has become more and more efficient with some newer models converting over 95% of fuel directly to heat. This is partially due to government regulations and private innovation. The most recent step forward for efficiency is the FER.
What is FER and what is it designed to do?
FER stands for Fan Energy Rating. While fuel efficiency has been nearly optimized in modern furnaces, electrically-powered fans had not been regulated by efficiency rating prior to the implementation of FER.
The primary way manufacturers will adjust to this regulation is by improving fan motors. The new regulation will require a nearly 46% increase in efficiency from previously standard fans.
While this only affects one component of a furnace, this relatively small change is estimated to save Americans more than $9 billion over the next decade in electrical costs as well as reduce carbon outputs by 34 million metric tons, according to the Department of Energy (DOE) estimates.
The Hidden Cost of Furnace Fans
You may be surprised that the DOE estimates are so high, especially since the furnace fan has nothing to do with the gas bill you’d typically associate with a furnace.
If your thermostat’s fan setting is set to ON, you could be spending literally hundreds of dollars a year to keep it running. Even if you set it to AUTO, you’re still most likely spending one or two hundred dollars a year. Imagine cutting that in half. That’s what the new regulation will do.
When will it happen?
It already did! The DOE announced these changes in 2014 for implementation in June 2019. At Meyer’s all of our furnaces meet or surpass the new regulations to help save you money and lower your impact on the climate. On top of that, we install fuel-efficient furnaces, so an upgrade will help your gas and electric bill at the same time.
Benefits of a Modern Furnace in the Hoosier Home
The HVAC industry is constantly innovating. In order to get our customers the best of the best, we keep up with all of the best industry practices and ensure you get a furnace installed that works best for your family. Here’s why you may want to install a furnace in the near future.
If you are used to other forms of heating such as a heat pump or boiler, you may not realize how much performance you are missing out on. Furnaces have consistently proven to be the most powerful heaters on the market and can easily heat your home even in the coldest outdoor temperatures. Heat pumps drop in efficiency in cold weather and boilers take longer to start up. When it comes to heating power, a furnace just can’t be beaten.
With the addition of new regulations and constant innovation, furnaces have become much more efficient in the last few decades. Some new models can convert 95% of fuel directly to heat, while still boasting the best performance. If you have an older heating system, replacing it with a modern furnace could lead to huge savings of 30% just on gas bills, in addition to the electric bill savings that come along with 2019’s FER regulations.
If you’re interested in upgrading and installing a new furnace, give us at Meyer’s Companies a call at (219) 240-0610 or fill out a form online.