The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) has submitted public comments to the Department of Energy, opposing mandates to replace non-condensing furnaces with condensing furnaces.
The Department of Energy sought out input on imposing energy conservation standards that would make atmospherically vented (non-condensing) gas products, such as furnaces and water heaters unavailable, and asked for comments on the impact that a mandated switch to non-condensing products would have on consumers.
In response to DOE’s request, ACCA highlighted that the industry does not oppose providing consumers the option to purchase condensing products. Rather, ACCA supports access to products that make financial sense for consumers and are practical for the buildings in which they live in. With a strong focus on the unique installation requirements of condensing products, ACCA noted that not all buildings can accommodate condensing products because they require special installation requirements and are often larger than non-condensing products.
ACCA President and CEO Bart James stated, “mandating a switch from non-condensing furnaces to more efficient condensing furnaces sounds good, but the reality is that these types of mandates could be a disservice to consumers. It doesn’t make sense to require people in warmer climates to purchase more expensive products that they use only a couple of days each year. There is no financial incentive or payback for these consumers.
“ACCA has been a leader on efficiency programs for decades and has advocated for a focus on quality installation practices, which are necessary for HVACR systems to operate efficiently. Government mandates that would outlaw non-condensing products drive consumers to low-ball contractors who are unable to properly install the condensing furnaces. ACCA supports options for consumers that enables them to make the best financial decision for their family and their efficiency goals.”
The public comments were cosigned by American Public Gas Association, The American Gas Association, The National Propane Gas Association, The Natural Gas Supply Association, The National Association of Home Builders, The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association, The National Multifamily Housing Council, The National Apartment Association, The National Leased Housing Association, and The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.