Gas Furnace Law Changes in Kansas City Starting May 1, 2013

Posted on November 16, 2012 by Jim Horlander

New industry changes take effect next May and for some homeowners in Kansas City it won’t be a pleasant one.

Earlier this year, the Department of Energy changed the laws on furnace efficiency standards for gas furnaces within homes.  These standards will start taking place next May for homeowners in both Kansas and Missouri.   The requirements state that all newly installed furnaces within homes meet a 90% gas efficiency rating.

So what does this mean to the average homeowner and how much more will you pay if you wait until May?

The pre-existing metal piping currently used for venting your furnace will not be suitable for these 90% efficient furnaces.   A plastic pvc pipe will be required to go from the new furnace to the outside of your home, and it must be done where it’s pitched toward the exit point of the home.  If your furnace is located in a finished basement, you may need to remove large sections of your ceiling to run the new exhaust piping.  A homeowner can expect to pay up to $1000 more just for a 90% efficient furnace compared to an 80% efficient furnace, which does not include the cost of the additional modifications that may be required for the new installation and the unexpected remodeling costs.

Update:

In a settlement filed late Friday afternoon(1/11/2013), the Department of Energy (DOE) has agreed to withdraw the pending minimum energy efficiency standards that include regional standards for residential gas furnaces in the northern region of the United States. The term “non-weatherized furnace” is used to define furnaces that are designed to be placed indoors. While the DOE has withdrawn this regulation, the US Courts must approve this withdraw request.

The bottom line is this. 

If you have been putting off replacing your current furnace because of the expense, or your current furnace is 12 years old or older and showing signs of wear, waiting will cost you more. This is especially important for homes where there is a finished basement, or homes with a furnace located in an attic or second floor closet. There are many homes with these types of furnaces in the Overland Park area, as well as homes in Lee’s Summit, Leawood, and other areas around Kansas City. Call Heartland Quality Heating and Cooling today for a free consultation.

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