Hey guess what, your furnace is no longer illegal! I guess all of my competition that was lying and trying to scare customers into buying a new furnace will have to find a new angle or scare tactic. Just to clarify we have not used this tactic and did receive several phone calls this winter from customers that were advised by someone else that their furnace was illegal, this was not the case at all. So the latest news was received last month that the Federal Efficiency Standard that was due to take place in May was put on hold.
What does this news mean for you? Well this is great news for homeowners that were not in the position to replace their current furnace. The new law would have made it illegal for us to install any furnace with an AFUE below 90% after May 2013. Over that past few years we have very rarely installed a furnace that was below this efficiency but in some instances venting and location can become a problem for the high efficiency equipment.
The high efficiency furnaces vent to the outdoors using PVC pipe. We generally run the PVC pipe horizontally to the outdoors so in some instances such as apartments or finished basements with no access to an outside wall from the furnace room this can become a big problem. The high efficiency furnaces also produce condensation and therefore must have a drain line ran from them. Since there is condensation and water within the furnace cabinet we do not recommend installing them in attics or crawlspaces either. Attics and crawlspaces generally get and stay below freezing in most homes and once there is any sort of freezing inside a high efficiency furnace the internal components will crack and fail.
To sum up: 1. Your old furnace was never illegal 2. Always feel free to ask a question when something seems odd 3. You have a little more time to consider replacing your current furnace 4. You should be proactive if your furnace is enclosed with no access to an outside wall, located in an attic or located in a crawlspace.
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