• October


  • 1632
  • 0

New Efficiency Standards Would Tackle the Energy Hog Lurking in your Basement

By Joanna Mauer, Technical Advocacy Coordinator, Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP)

Department of Energy (DOE) proposed strong new energy efficiency standards today that would address a major energy hog that may be lurking in your basement. The new standardswould reduce the energy consumption of furnace fans, which are the fans that circulate heated and cooled air supplied by furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps through ductwork in homes. Improved furnace fan efficiency would not only save consumers money on their electricity bills, but would also help improve comfort.

DOE estimates that the standards would save an average consumer about $400 over the life of a furnace fan. On a national level, products meeting the standards over 30 years would net consumers $26 billion in savings.

Furnace fans consume a significant amount of energy—about 800 kilowatt-hours per year on average for typical units, which is more than the annual energy use of a new refrigerator and dishwasher combined.

However, very large energy savings can be achieved by improving the efficiency of the motor used to drive the fan. Typical furnace fans today use permanent split capacitor (PSC) motors. The efficiency standards proposed by DOE could be met using a more efficient type of motor—a constant-torque brushless permanent magnet motor. The proposed standards would reduce furnace fan energy use by about 40%.

More efficient furnace fans could also help improve comfort. Furnace fans using PSC motors are often unable to provide sufficient airflow to achieve desired comfort levels throughout a home. Furnace fans often encounter significant resistance to airflow due to poor duct design or installation, restrictive filters, and other factors. As this resistance increases, the airflow that a furnace fan with a PSC motor can provide drops off significantly. Furnace fans using more efficient motors not only provide large energy savings, but can also improve comfort by doing a better job of providing sufficient airflow.

Vanquishing this and other energy hogs is also great news for the environment. With this new proposal for furnace fans, DOE is taking another important step to help meet President Obama’s goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030 through efficiency standards. DOE also issued new draft standards for metal halide lamp fixtures and two types of commercial refrigeration equipment within the past few weeks.

DOE must publish a final standard for furnace fans by December 31, 2013.

Latest Posts
Most Viewed
Text Widget

Here is a text widget settings ipsum lore tora dolor sit amet velum. Maecenas est velum, gravida Vehicula Dolor

facebook instagram House Pinterest Twitter LinkedIn YouTube

© Copyright EcoCustom Homes | 5784 Lake Forrest Dr | Suite 216 | Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328 | 404.303.7280
Costs of Custom Homes

The first thing most people want to know is: What does it costs to build a 3000 sqft custom home in the Atlanta, GA. market?  The first thing you have to calculate is the square footage you want.  Once you have that, the numbers below give you a good starting point.

Adjusted Square Foot Calculation:

New Construction: