The Biden Administration has published a new rule that cracks down on gas furnaces in homes, essentially phasing out many existing models and requiring new ones to meet onerous standards. The Department of Energy now requires a 95% annual fuel efficiency standard, up from the 80% that was on the books before the new rule was published Friday.
New models will be mandatory by 2028, according to the Department of Energy, which says homeowners will save $100 a year on their utility bills. Some homes will require expensive retrofits to accommodate the requirements of the new furnaces.
The Energy Department says the rule will cut carbon emissions by 332 million metric tons, and methane emissions by 4.3 million tons over 30 years.
Furnace efficiency standards were last updated in 2007. Starting in 2028, residential gas furnaces must convert at least 95% of wasted energy into heat for the living space, accomplished through a secondary heat exchanger that capture excess heat from the furnace’s exhaust gases.
The upfront costs of these more efficient appliances are expected to be much higher, just as Energy Star rated appliances are more expensive. The average cost of a gas furnace in the United States is about $4,700.
The American Gas Association estimates the new regulation will remove 60% of current residential gas furnaces from the market.
With this rule, DOE has now issued proposed or final efficiency standards for 24 product categories so far this year, including gas cook stoves and washer-dryers. The rule goes into effect five years from date it is published in the Federal Register.