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How Will New ECM Blower Motor Regulations Increase Efficiency?

In light of new DOE (Department of Energy) requirements affecting furnace blower fans, effective as of July 3, 2019, we at Minnesota Heating & Air Conditioning are re-evaluating our product line moving forward. 

These new regulations have been handed down throughout 2017-18, but the new FER requirement deadline has now approached and has passed. The requirements are now in full force upon us in the HVAC industry.

FER- Fan Energy Rating

– Will be enforced for all HVAC manufacturers- Standards directly affected 100% every residential furnace fan manufactured- Also affects SPP YAC and Hybrid Heat systems

What is FER?

The groundwork for FER was laid as early as 2014, and before. The Department of Energy established this metric as a way to quantify the efficiency of a residential furnace fan.

With residential furnace fans comprising such a large percentage of the actual energy that’s used on a daily basis, it makes sense that this would be an area that the DOE would target. It makes sense that they’d want it quantified. 

The birds’ eye view is this: The FER rating measures how much airflow a fan delivers per watt of energy it uses. This seems like the most basic metric possible. The formula takes into consideration a full season of heating, cooling and fan usage load on any residential furnace fan. 

The actual equation to determine a FER rating for a given fan is rather high-level. More detailed explanations into the mathematics can be found at the official government FER guidelines page. That document actually details that the roots go a little further back. 

Where did the FER come from?

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 actually primed the pump. This bill states that it is a mandate that the DOE prescribes energy conservation standards for a variety of consumer products. These guidelines include many manufacturers, including those of residential furnace fans.

What is the purpose of the FER?

As you may have guessed, the purpose of this — and all — regulation is to limit something. In the case of FER, the goal is that we limit energy use from residential furnace fans. The total end goal of course being, that we save consumers money while also reducing the carbon load that the environment must bear as an effect of our climate-controlled dwellings. 

So while new regulations such as these do often result in extra work and re-thinking, in this case, it does also help our customers. As ones who manufacture residential furnace fans, most of us are also users of them as well. Who isn’t interested in better energy efficiency and lower regular costs?

The benefits will simply come as a result of our putting our full focus into a total retooling of our product lines across the residential heating and cooling system manufacturing industry. Contact us for more information on how the new FER rated units can save you money on your residential, commercial or industrial heating & cooling system’s usage costs.