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If you have been looking to upgrade your gas furnace this year, make note that a federal rule that would have required new gas-fired furnaces, as of May 1, 2013, to be 90 percent AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) for the northern states, has been rescinded. The current minimum AFUE nationwide is 78 percent, and will remain so for the time being.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) had planned to raise minimum HVAC efficiency standards across the country both for new heating and cooling appliances. The standards would have impacted people in the northern states differently than those in the Southeast and Southwest. For instance, Floridians and other Southerners would have seen their minimum AFUE increase from 78 percent to 80 percent AFUE for a new gas-fired furnace, while northerners, including Michigan, would have seen a dramatic rise from 78 percent to 90 percent AFUE.

The new minimums were overturned when the DOE agreed on Jan. 11 to a settlement in federal court to rescind the standards. The settlement, which was expected to be approved by the court, came by way of a lawsuit filed by the American Public Gas Association. APGA had argued that the new standards would place too much of a financial burden on consumers, forcing them to buy much less efficient electric heating systems.

This settlement does not change HVAC efficiency standards for new air conditioners and heat pumps, which aren’t scheduled to go into effect till 2015.

Those standards will be as follows:

  • Current minimum standards for central AC are set at Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) 13. For the Southeast and Southwest, new minimums will rise to SEER 14, while they will remain the same for the Northern Region.
  • Minimum standards for heat pumps will rise from SEER 13 to 14 for all regions, while minimum Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) will rise from 7.7 to 8.2.

If you would like more information about the HVAC efficiency standards, contact Aladdin Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided HVAC services for the Detroit metro area, including Auburn Hills, Rochester and Troy for more than 65 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about HVAC efficiency standards and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Aladdin Heating services Novi, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Oak Park, Ferndale, Beverly Hills, Berkley, Royal Oak, Birmingham, Bloomfield Twp., Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Madison Heights, Clawson, Sterling Heights, Warren, Troy, St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park, Detroit, Utica, Shelby Twp., Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Lake Orion, Oxford, and Clarkston.

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