What is FER?
In 2014, the DOE established the first national efficiency standard targeting a specific product component – residential furnace fans. The new Fan Energy Rating formula specifies a maximum energy rating that varies based on the airflow provided by the furnace fan. The FER value is different for each furnace model, requiring every model to be re-designed for FER compliance.
What Is the Purpose of These New Regulations?
The FER regulation is intended to reduce energy consumption. Reduced energy consumption will in turn save consumers money on energy bills and cut carbon pollution.
When Do the New FER Standards Take Effect?
The new FER regulations will take effect on July 3, 2019. Each furnace manufacturer must be in compliance by that date. We are allowed to continue production of our current PSC motor furnaces until that time. Our current plan is to begin shipping our new FER-compliant gas furnaces and SPP YAC and Hybrid Heat systems in May of 2019, two months ahead of the mandate’s implementation. Furnaces with PSC motors can be installed any time after the regulation takes effect, as long as the furnace is manufactured before July 3, 2019.
What Does FER Mean for Us?
The Carrier and Bryant furnace line – and those of every other manufacturer – is being re-engineered to meet this new regulation. We will also be re-shuffling our product tiers, bringing the fixed-speed constant torque (FCT) ECM motor to the Comfort and Legacy tier. As a result, kitchen table discussions will likely have to change – sales might shift to systems with higher initial costs, but offering more consumer benefits such as higher energy efficiency, enhanced comfort features, and potentially lower operating costs. With higher overall efficiencies, potentially lower operating costs, and industry standard warranty coverage on parts, replacing an aging, less efficient unit with a FER-compliant model could be highly beneficial.