Do Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems Work as Well as Standard Ones?

When you’re discussing the purchase and installation of a new heating and cooling system with your HVAC service in St. Louis, MO, you will need to take into account some minimum energy efficiency standards, which will limit the types of air conditioners and furnaces you’re allowed to purchase in your area. These energy efficiency standards vary from region to region, and even if a company carries products that have lower energy efficiency ratings, they won’t be able to sell them in your particular region if it doesn’t meet the standards set for your area. For example, people who live in the south will generally be required to use more energy-efficient air conditioners than people in the north, because they’re going to use them much more often.

This isn’t necessarily something that should be considered a negative—if it’s a question of whether or not the higher energy efficiency standards will hamper the operation of the equipment, you don’t need to worry. Energy-efficient HVAC systems are capable of working just as well as standard ones, with less energy. They might not produce the same results quite as quickly, but you will save a significant amount of energy and money on your utility bills to ultimately get at least the same quality of heating and cooling.

The major drawback is that these energy-efficient systems cost much more up front to purchase and install, so you need to be prepared to make an immediate investment into your home’s HVAC system.

New standards

The most recent federal changes to energy efficiency standards were implemented in July 2019, when the U.S. Department of Energy made official some new standards for furnaces. Under the new rules, there is a Fan Energy Rating (FER) that establishes a minimum airflow efficiency for all residential furnace fans. Furnaces are no longer allowed to even be manufactured if they fail to meet those baseline marks.

According to the Department of Energy, this new rule will save approximately 3.99 quads of energy, cut down on the amount of carbon pollution in the country by up to 34 million metric tons (equal to the amount of energy used by about 4.7 million homes) and cut down national home electric bills by about $9 billion through 2030.

This has required a lot of furnace manufacturers to make quite a few upgrades to their equipment and processes to ensure they need these new energy efficiency standards.

What does this mean for the average homeowner? Ultimately it means just about any new furnace you purchase is going to be a significant upgrade in terms of energy efficiency, but there are still tiers of energy efficiency you should consider, and you’ll need to meet any minimum requirements that exist for your area. You should not be scared off by a higher price tag for a more energy-efficient furnace, as it will save you money in the long run (to some extent).

For more information about energy efficiency and HVAC service in St. Louis, MO, reach out to the team at Ashley Brothers Heating & Cooling today.