Consumer Furnaces

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As defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR),”furnace” means a product which utilizes only single-phase electric current, or single-phase electric current or DC current in conjunction with natural gas, propane, or home heating oil, and which (1) Is designed to be the principal heating source for the living space of a residence; (2) Is not contained within the same cabinet with a central air conditioner whose rated cooling capacity is above 65,000 Btu per hour; (3) Is an electric central furnace, electric boiler, forced-air central furnace, gravity central furnace, or low-pressure steam or hot water boiler; and (4) Has a heat input rate of less than 300,000 Btu per hour for electric boilers and low-pressure steam or hot water boilers and less than 225,000 Btu per hour for forced-air central furnaces, gravity central furnaces, and electric central furnaces. 10 CFR 430.2 Manufacturers have been required to comply with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) energy conservation standards for residential mobile home gas furnaces since 1990 and for all other residential furnaces since 1992.

Current Standard | Current Test Procedure | Ongoing Rulemaking for Standards | Ongoing Rulemaking for Test Procedure | Helpful Links


Recent and Ongoing Activities

DOE has published a Federal Register notice announcing and providing the reasoning for DOE's denial of a petition filed by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute requesting that DOE initiate a notice-and-comment rulemaking to develop a new combined test procedure for consumer furnaces and furnace fans, which would replace the two currently required performance metrics for furnaces and the one performance metric for furnace fans with a single new metric called “AFUE2.”

  • This denial of petition for rulemaking is effective September 21, 2021.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice extending the public comment period for the notice of proposed interpretive rule (NOPIR) pertaining to standards for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters. On January 15, 2021, DOE published in the Federal Register a final interpretive rule determining that, in the context of residential furnaces, commercial water heaters, and similarly-situated products or equipment, use of non-condensing technology (and associated venting) constitutes a performance-related “feature” under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended (EPCA), that cannot be eliminated through the adoption of an energy conservation standard. On August 27, 2021, DOE published in the Federal Register a NOPIR that proposes to return to its previous and long-standing interpretation, under which the technology used to supply heated air or hot water is not a performance related “feature” that provides a distinct consumer utility under EPCA. The NOPIR provided an opportunity for submission of written comments, data, and information to the DOE no later than September 27, 2021. Prior to the end of that comment period, several stakeholders submitted a joint request seeking additional time to consider the issues raised in the NOPIR. In light of this request, DOE is extending the comment period on the subject NOPIR for an additional 15 days.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of proposed interpretive rule pertaining to performance-related features of certain appliances. On January 15, 2021, DOE published a final interpretive rule in the Federal Register determining that, in the context of residential furnaces, commercial water heaters, and similarly-situated products or equipment, use of non-condensing technology (and associated venting) constitutes a performance-related “feature” under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), that cannot be eliminated through adoption of an energy conservation standard. DOE deems it prudent to revisit its interpretation. For the reasons stated in this document, DOE proposes to return to its previous and long-standing interpretation (in effect prior to the January 15, 2021 final interpretive rule), under which the technology used to supply heated air or hot water is not a performance-related “feature” that provides a distinct consumer utility under EPCA. DOE requests comment on its proposed interpretation. Once DOE has arrived at a final interpretation, DOE plans to again evaluate whether amended energy conservation standards would result in significant savings of energy, be technologically feasible, and be economically justified, consistent with its interpretation.

PETITION FOR RULEMAKING

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of final interpretive rule that published on January 15, 2020.  86 FR 4776.  In response to a petition for rulemaking submitted on October 18, 2018 (Gas Industry Petition), the Department of Energy (DOE or the Department) published that petition in the Federal Register on November 1, 2018, for public review and input. DOE subsequently published in the Federal Register a proposed interpretive rule on July 11, 2019, and a supplemental notice of proposed interpretive rule on September 24, 2020. After carefully considering the public comments on its proposals, DOE has decided to issue a final interpretive rule determining that, in the context of residential furnaces, commercial water heaters, and similarly-situated products/equipment, use of non-condensing technology (and associated venting) constitute a performance-related “feature” under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) that cannot be eliminated through adoption of an energy conservation standard. In light of this final interpretation, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, DOE withdraws its March 12, 2015 proposed rule and September 23, 2016 supplemental proposed rule for energy conservation standards for non-weatherized gas furnace and mobile home gas furnaces, as well as its May 31, 2016 proposed rule for energy conservation standards for commercial water heating equipment.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice extending the public comment period for submitting comments and data on the notice of supplemental proposed interpretive rulemaking (NOPIR) that published on September 24, 2020.  In response to a petition for rulemaking submitted on October 18, 2018 (Gas Industry Petition), DOE published that petition in the Federal Register on November 1, 2018, for public review and input, and DOE subsequently published a proposed interpretive rule in the Federal Register on July 11, 2019. After carefully considering the public comments on its proposed interpretive rule, DOE tentatively determined to consider a more involved class structure which turns on maintenance of compatibility with existing venting categories, and published a NOPIR on September 24, 2020. On September 25, 2020, and October 6, 2020, DOE received comments requesting extension of the comment period on the NOPIR. On September 29, 2020, DOE received a comment from the submitters of the Gas Industry Petition requesting prompt action on their petition.

DOE has published in the Federal Register a notice of supplemental proposed interpretive rule and request for comment responding to the gas industry petition, asking DOE to issue an interpretive rule and to withdraw related, previously published proposals.  DOE will accept comments on the supplemental proposed interpretive rule on or before October 26, 2020.  Interested parties may submit comments identified by docket number EERE-2018-BT-STD-0018.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice responding to a petition for rulemaking submitted on October 18, 2018 (Gas Industry Petition), asking DOE to issue an interpretive rule and to withdraw related, previously published proposals. After carefully considering the public comments on the petition, DOE has decided to partially grant the request for an interpretive rule and is denying the Gas Industry Petitioners’ request to withdraw its earlier proposed rules for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice extending the comment period pertaining to standards for residential furnances 84 FR 449 (January 29, 2019).

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of petition for rulemaking and a request for information pertaining to standards for residential furnaces 83 FR 54883 (November 1, 2018).

For the latest information on the planned timing of future DOE regulatory milestones, see the current Office of Management and Budget Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. All planned dates are preliminary and subject to change.

Standards

DOE has published a Federal Register notice extending the public comment period for the notice of proposed interpretive rule (NOPIR) pertaining to standards for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters. 86FR53014 (September 24, 2021).

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of proposed interpretive rule pertaining to performance-related features of certain appliances. 86FR48049 (August 27, 2021).

DOE has published in the Federal Register a notice of supplemental proposed interpretive rule and request for comment responding to the gas industry petition, asking DOE to issue an interpretive rule and to withdraw related, previously published proposals.  85 FR 60090 (September 24, 2020)

DOE has published a Federal Register notice extending the comment period pertaining to standards for residential furnances 84 FR 449 (January 29, 2019).

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of petition for rulemaking and a request for information pertaining to standards for residential furnaces 83 FR 54883 (November 1, 2018).

DOE published a notice extending the comment period pertaining to residential furnaces. 81 FR 87493 (December 5, 2016).

DOE has issued a pre-publication Federal Register notice extending the comment period pertaining to residential furnaces.

In this SNOPR, DOE proposes amended energy conservation standards for residential non-weatherized gas furnaces and mobile home gas furnaces. The notice also requests comment on the SNOPR’s proposed standards and associated analyses and results. The SNOPR also proposes clarifications to the certification and reporting requirements.

The residential furnace energy conservation standard rulemaking docket EERE-2014-BT-STD-0031 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents pertaining to this rulemaking.

Public Meeting Information:

There is no public meeting scheduled at this time.

Submitting Public Comments

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Notice of Data Availability

Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Notice of Comment Extension

  • Comment Extension, Federal Register, 81 FR 87493 (December 5, 2016)

Test Procedure

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of denial of petition for rulemaking pertaining to test procedures for consumer furnaces and furnance fans. 86FR52422 (September 21, 2021).

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of petition for rulemaking and a request for comment pertaining to test procedures for consumer warm air furnaces 83 FR 56746 (November 14, 2018).

DOE published a final rule pertaining to test procedures for residential furnaces. 81 FR 2628 (January 15, 2016).

The residential furnace and boiler test procedure docket EERE-2018-BT-PET-0017 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents pertaining to this rulemaking.

Public Meeting Information

There is no public meeting scheduled at this time.

Submitting Public Comments

The comment period is closed.


Current Standard

Residential furnaces manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16), must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 10 CFR 430.32.


Current Test Procedure

To determine that residential furnaces that are currently manufactured or distributed into commerce are in compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedure methods specified at 10 CFR 430.23.


Helpful Links

Compliance

DOE has established regulations on certification, compliance, and enforcement in the CFR at 10 CFR Part 429.  These regulations cover statistical sampling plans, certified ratings, certification reports, record retention, and enforcement.  More information on these regulations is available here.

Waivers

For information on current test procedure waivers, see DOE’s Waivers webpage.

For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR 430.27.

Exceptions

DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized exception relief for furnaces.

For information about obtaining exception relief, see 10 CFR part 1003.

Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions

For information on further guidance and answers to Frequently Asked Questions on all covered products, see DOE’s Further Guidance database 

State Exemptions to Federal Pre-emption

DOE has not exempted any state from this energy conservation standard. States may petition DOE to exempt a state regulation from preemption by the Federal energy conservation standard. States may also petition DOE to withdraw such exemptions. For details, see 10 CFR part 430, subpart D.

Small Business Exemptions

Any manufacturer of a covered product with annual gross revenues that do not exceed $8,000,000 from all its operations and meets certain other conditions may apply for an exemption to the energy conservation standard. For details, see 10 CFR part 430, subpart E.

ENERGY STAR®

DOE supports the testing and verification of ENERGY STAR® products in close collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Find tips and guidance for making your home, workplace, or vehicle more energy efficient visit EnergySavers.gov.

Contact information

For more information related to this product, please email:
ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ee.doe.gov


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