New furnace regulations may cost homeowners - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

New furnace regulations may cost homeowners

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Most of us are cranking up our heat during these winter months, but a new law going into effect later this year could change the way you heat your home.

Starting May 1, a new federal law is requiring all new furnaces be 90 percent fuel efficient, instead of the 80 percent that most homes use.

Shawn Cooley with Elam Heating and Air says 90 percent furnaces may cost more to buy and they do cost more to install.

"Most houses are fine, we can get the flu pipes out with no problem. But, there are some homes out there that we're scratching out heads on trying to figure out how we're going to get pipes out of their home to get the newer furnaces in," said Cooley.

Cooley says even with the initial money pinch, a more efficient heater will save you more in the long run.

"An 80 percenter means that 80 percent of the gas you burn is utilized for your home, 20 percent is thrown out of the house. So that pipe does get hotter. On the newer furnaces, say it's a 98 percent furnace, 98 percent of the gas you burn is utilized for your home and 2 percent is going outside. So, your cost savings there for gas is greater," said Cooley.

Cooley says that Ameren is also giving incentives to upgrade. The energy company will take up to $500 off installation fees for a new 90 percent furnace.

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