What Is FER?

New Regulations on the Horizon: 
Fan Energy Rating (FER)

While HVAC contractors, distributors and manufacturers all enjoyed a rare year with no new federal regulations impacting the industry in 2017, it’s time to begin understanding the next set of major federal regulations scheduled to take effect. Fan Energy Rating (FER) will take effect in 2019, but preparations to meet these new standards have been underway for some time already.

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.1 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 US 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 could reduce energy use by 46%.2
 

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 on July 3, 2019. Each furnace manufacturer must ensure their entire line of furnaces is in compliance by that date. 

Why are we talking about regulations that won’t take effect for well over a year now?

Preparation has been a multi-year process. A significant portion of the Heil® furnace line (and those of every other manufacturer) are being re-engineered to meet these new regulations. Heil has been hard at work preparing their furnace line to meet these new regulations.

What does FER mean for HVAC distributors and contractors? 

Heil will be rolling out new lines of more efficient furnaces designed to meet and exceed FER standards throughout the first half of 2019. Stay tuned to GoHeil.com for a steady stream of product announcements. 

Rest easy knowing that Heil will be ready for the FER regulations when they take effect.

1https://appliance-standards.org/product/furnace-fans
2http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/green-building-news/government-orders-more-efficient-furnace-fans