Energy Conservation & Efficiency

Department of Energy updates furnace efficiency standards

New standards requiring home furnaces to be more energy efficient will reduce needless pollution

Athel Rogers | Used by permission

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) finalized the first meaningful update in over 30 years to the efficiency standards of gas furnaces—a product that heats 46.5 million U.S. homes.

The final standards will cut 332 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from furnaces sold over 30 years, according to the agency. The standards will also reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, which cause asthma attacks, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.

“Using energy efficiently protects our air, water, and open spaces,” said Johanna Neumann, senior director of the Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy at Environment America. “The Department of Energy is protecting our environment from needless pollution by making sure new furnaces aren’t sold with outdated, inefficient technology.”

Heating is the largest energy use for most homes. The standards finalized by DOE on Friday will require new furnaces to use about 15% less energy than today’s least efficient models. The new standards will take effect in 2028.


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