It seems as though every time the EPA or Department of Energy changes a law or adds an incentive, a number of HVAC companies use that as license to send homeowners pseudo-official mailings attempting to scare people into buying a new system.
The latest round of “marketing” mailings, disguised as if they’re letters from the government, are associated with the May 1, 2013 DOE requirements that all new furnaces be at least 90% efficient.
What the new law does say, is that all furnaces installed on or after the above date must be 90% efficiency or above, what it does not say is that if your system is below that it must be replaced.
In addition to trying to convince you that your furnace system MUST be changed because of the new law, you might also hear about a significant cost increase because of how 90% efficient and above systems vent with PVC pipe and likely require new construction. From a technical standpoint, that’s the truth – all high efficiency systems vents with PVC pipe and, many times, it requires new construction. What’s most likely fabrication, is that it will have a dramatic increase in cost. Venting of PVC pipe is a standard process for anyone in residential HVAC, and it should not add much more labor and very little material to your overall project.
Outside of mailings, you might be looking for a new furnace and hear a similar version of this story. You have to question if a sales person is not telling the truth about this law, what else is he or his company being dishonest about. Bottom line, if you’re reading this then you’re doing the right research to know what options you have. And, while a new high efficiency furnace might be the best option for your home, it shouldn’t take deceptive sales and marketing to help you make that decision.