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Furnaces Redesigned to Meet DOE's Fan Energy Rating
Carrier’s full lineup of gas furnaces, gas/electric small package products (SPP) and SPP Hybrid Heat systems have been redesigned to meet the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fan Energy Rating (FER) going into effect on July 3, 2019. Carrier’s products with new fan technology use less energy and achieve the goals of the new FER regulations, targeting a 46% watt reduction over a standard furnace with a permanent split capacitor (PSC) blower motor. By reducing energy consumption, consumers can save money on energy bills and cut carbon pollution.
“As an HVAC manufacturer, it’s absolutely critical we comply with regulatory requirements and evaluate any new regulation from the DOE to ensure it is technologically feasible and economically justified,” said John Gibbons, executive
director, Regulatory Affairs, Carrier. “Carrier is more than ready with a fully re- engineered lineup of gas heating products and an outstanding network of Carrier distributors and contractors to reach consumers.”
Carrier innovated its entire product line, across all tiers, in order to achieve compliance with the new FER regulations. Now, Carrier blower motors reach between 80 percent – 85 percent electrical efficiency with all Carrier FER-compliant furnaces possessing electronically commutated motors (ECMs). As a result, the furnace lineup is now tiered by which type of ECM is in the product:
- The Comfort Series was upgraded from PSC motors to fixed-speeds constant torque (FCT) ECMs.
- The Performance Series furnaces have variable-speed constant torque (VCT) ECMs, providing increased motor speed options and advanced dehumidification.
- The Infinity Series continues to offer Infinity communicating variable-speed constant-airflow (VCA) ECMs, providing constant airflow as the external static pressure changes, among many other benefits.
In the prior product line, even furnaces with ECMs may not have met the requirements of FER, so those units were also re-engineered to achieve the required efficiency. Carrier engineered a number of solutions including:
- New control boards for new operational characteristics,
- Changes to blower speeds,
- New ECM with higher electrical efficiency compared to what was previously available,
- Carrier proprietary fan technology for those models furthest from meeting FER. PSC motors will still be available as replacement components for those PSC furnaces built before July 3, 2019.
With higher overall efficiencies, potentially lower operating costs, and industry standard warranty coverage on parts, replacing an aging, less efficient unit with a new FER-compliant model could be highly beneficial. Furthermore, the DOE estimates the new FER standards may reduce harmful carbon pollution by up to 34 million metric tons through the year 2030 – equivalent to the annual electricity use of 4.7 million homes.