Explaining FER (Fan Energy Rating) Standards to Homeowners

2019 FER Regulations May Affect
Discussions with Homeowners NOW

Right now, mid-2019 may seem like a long way off...but it will be here before you know it. All residential furnace manufacturers must be compliant with the new US Department of Energy (DOE) FER requirements by the effective date of July 3, 2019.

The DOE-prescribed fan energy ratings differ depending on the type of furnace fan. They target a significant 46% watt reduction over a typical permanent split capacitor (PSC) furnace in an effort to conserve energy. Click here for more information on the 2019 FER Rule1.

How will the 2019 FER Standards Impact My Discussions with Customers Now?
The FER requirements do not take effect until mid-2019, but they may affect the conversations you have with customers this heating season.

Simply stated, explain to homeowners that the new FER standards are intended to result in: 

Repair or Replace?
Have you thought about how these FER pros/cons may affect your conversations with homeowners THIS winter?

Let's say a customer needs service on his 16-year-old, PSC-equipped furnace this winter. His home is cold and the furnace is not functioning properly. Upon further investigation, you determine that the blower motor is not working as it should. Do you replace the broken blower motor or the whole furnace?

The customer may be on a budget and prefer that you simply repair the blower motor; however, it's important to discuss the impact that the 2019 FER standards could have on this decision. If the homeowner's furnace breaks down again next winter and needs to be replaced, a new FER-compliant furnace will likely be more expensive than a replacement furnace this winter.

Be sure to explain the upcoming FER requirements to the homeowner and offer several choices: 

Although the FER standards will not take effect until mid-2019, it's important to start planning for those requirements now. Research the FER ruling if you haven't already done so. Click here for more details. 

Once you've familiarized yourself with the FER ruling, prepare your customers for higher energy efficiency, advances in furnace fan technology, and potential increases in the cost of new furnaces so they can make educated decisions on their heating and cooling equipment.

1 https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/06/f17/furnace_fans_final_rule.pdf

2 https://www.achrnews.com/articles/136459-fer-standards-require-electronically-commutated-motors