Congressionally-mandated energy efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces were finalized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). These standards will slash household utility costs by $1.5 billion annually and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To take effect late 2028, these standards require non-weatherizes gas furnaces and those used in mobile homes to achieve an annual fuel utilization efficiency of 95%. This will conserve energy and improve residential heating. Such consumer savings are expected to reach $24.8 billion on their energy bills over 30 years and cut harmful carbon and methane emissions that fuel the climate crisis.
“At the direction of Congress, DOE is continuing to review and finalize energy standards for household appliances, such as residential furnaces, to lower costs for working families by reducing energy use and slashing harmful pollutants in homes across the nation,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today’s measure, along with this Administration’s past and planned energy efficiency actions, underscores President Biden’s commitment to save Americans money and deliver healthier communities.”
According to DOE, these furnace efficiency standards were last updated in 2007. With these modernized standards, starting in late 2028, residential gas furnaces will provide an annual fuel utilization efficiency of at least 95 percent—reducing waste by converting nearly all of the gas used into heat for the living space. This standard is readily achievable by modern condensing furnaces, which use secondary heat exchangers to capture excess heat from the furnace’s exhaust gases.