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New DOE Standard for Furnaces Limits Standby Power and Raises AFUE Baseline

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Feb 12, 2015 7:14:47 AM

In a move that has been cheered by environmental groups, the DOE has just announced new rules that will affect all future residential furnaces.

The ruling, which is highly technical in nature, examines numerous aspects of furnace performance, with the goal of an overall reduction in fossil fuel use by these devices, which account for most of the residential energy use in cold climate states.


First, there's standby power, which is now set at a watt limit (above). Here's how the DOE came up with this solution:

"DOE has decided to use a maximum wattage requirement to regulate standby mode and off mode for furnaces.DOE believes using an annualized metric could add unnecessary complexities, such as trying to estimate an assumed number of hours that a furnace typically spends in standby mode.

Instead, DOE believes that a maximum wattage standard is the most straightforward metric for regulating standby mode and off mode energy consumption of furnaces, and will result in the least amount of industry and consumer confusion."

Next, the ruling tackles the basic AFUE efficiency of certain types of furnaces. These baseline AFUE levels will be required starting on November 19, 2015 (below).

New AFUE Furnace Baselines


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