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Furnace Fan Efficiency Standards

The Fan Energy Rating (FER) will take effect in 2019, but preparations to meet these new standards have been underway for some time already. These standards are being put in place to reduce the energy used by your fan in your heating and cooling systems.

What is FER?

In 2014, the US Department of Energy established the first national efficiency standards for furnace fans. FER specifies a maximum fan energy rating that varies based on the airflow provided by the furnace fan.

FER is expressed in terms of power consumption (W) per delivered airflow (1000 cfm) and incorporates energy consumption in three different modes: heating, cooling, and constant circulation. These new standards will require a whopping 46% watt reduction over a typical PSC furnace.

What is the purpose of these new regulations?

The FER standards are intended to reduce energy consumption. Reduced energy consumption will in turn save consumers money on energy bills and cut carbon pollution.

For example:

A standard furnace fan for a 70,000 BTU-per-hour furnace consumes approximately 1,000 kilowatt-hours per year. The FER standards are hoping to reduce energy use by 46%. This could cut down yearly usage to 540 kilowatt-hours per year.  Significantly reducing the amount of electricity needs to run your furnace for heating or air conditioning.

Additionally, since the furnace fan is a previously unregulated component of HVAC systems, it is also likely that these regulations could boost innovation.

When does FER take effect?

These regulations will take effect in Ontario on July 3, 2019. Each furnace manufacturer must ensure their entire line of furnaces is in compliance by that date. 

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