What’s Hot in Energy News

July 18, 2019

Energy never gets old, but even so, we have some news to bring your way.

Recently, the US Department of Energy implemented a big change to HVAC. With the goal to reduce consumption in furnace fans, new FER Standards (Fan Efficiency Rating Standards) have gone into effect, requiring indoor fan motors to be ECMs (electronically commutated motors). ECMs use electronic controls to change their speed and are therefore more efficient. As of July 3, 2019, manufacturers must comply with these standards.

This is a win across the board: for your pocket, comfort and the environment. 2019 has proven to be the year of exchanging our advantageous relationship with the earth for a new, more environmentally conscious one. The new FER Standards comply with this in a monumental way—the upcoming transition is expected to reduce our carbon footprint by 34 million metric tons!

Additionally, higher efficiency fan motors will not only save you money on your heating and cooling bills, but they will also boost the efficiency of your home’s AC unit. Not to mention, these motors run a bit quieter and move more air than less efficient motors. You can watch the summer rain blow through your backyard without feeling all the dreadful humidity it brings along with it!

If you live by the sturdy Southern assurance of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” this news still applies to you. There is no requirement for consumers to upgrade – parts for older style motors will still be sold along with the new and improved ECMs.

If you are in the market to buy the new, more efficient fan motor, there may be an increase in the upfront cost of the equipment when compared to older models. However, we think you’ll find that this is a small price to pay for the comfort this motor will bring. (Pun fully intended).

The future is not only more efficient, but quieter and more economical, too. This energy news may be hot, but with these new fan motors, you don’t have to be. Lucky for all of us, the future is now.

Here are some favorite fast facts about energy to keep in mind this summer:

  • Want a quick and easy way to determine how energy efficient your home is compared to others? The Home Energy Rating System (or HERS) index describes it all for you. Request a copy of one for any house you are looking to make your home.
  • Using a microwave, toaster, or counter-top grill rather than an oven cuts down energy use and excess heat that can increase room temperature.
  • Placing lamps or TVs near your thermostat can cause the air to run longer than necessary due to the sense of heat around the appliances. Place the two far apart to save energy!

Please reach out to us if we can be of any service to you and your family in these summer months (check out our A/C services here). Heading on vacation next month? Don’t forget to catch up on our three tips to prepare your home for your departure.

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