New Ultra Low NOx HVAC Requirements have been put in place in California in an effort to combat health and environmental issues created by NOx. The goal is to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 by regulating the nitrous oxide (NOx) emitted by residential gas furnaces. The truth is greenhouse gases not only pose issues for the environment, but are also bad for your health. The EPA states, that NOx contributes to respiratory issues, smog and global warming. Currently residential buildings contribute about 25% of California’s total greenhouse emissions. Furthermore, a great amount of greenhouse gas savings can come from eliminating on-site combustion of natural gases. Below we discuss how upgrading your existing residential gas furnace to a new Ultra Low NOx furnace will help reduce greenhouse emissions.
What is NOx?
NOx stands for nitrogen oxide – a toxic greenhouse gas. NOx is released when fuel is burned at a high temperature like in an engine or in a gas furnace. Ultra Low NOx refers to the emission limits put on these products as determined by local EPA standards which will vary for different types of heating equipment. California’s South Coast Air Quality Management district (SCAQMD) and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) introduced the Ultra Low NOx Rule 1111 and Rule 4905 respectively. These new rules now require the NOx emission limits to decrease from 40ng/J to 14mg/J for all natural gas fired fan type central furnaces within these California districts. An ultra-low NOx furnace is a qualified gas furnace model that meets the required emissions. These new models will cut emissions by about 65% from the older low NOx standard. Furthermore, Ultra Low NOx furnaces are more cost effective and can result in 25% heating cost savings over the span of a year.
When Do New Regulations Go Into Effect?
Since October 2019 homeowners are required to install an ultra low NOx furnace or pay hefty fines. All replacement and new furnaces within the SCAQMD and SJVAPCD jurisdictions must meet the ultra low Nox designation. Before the new regulations went into effect, installers and homeowners were paying mitigation fees for equipment. Since October 2019, if you meet the new regulations put into place the mitigation fee has been phased out for purchased equipment.
Take Care of Your Health And The Environment
One of the ways you can take care of your health and the environment is by helping keep the air cleaner. One of the key contributors to California’s air pollution are greenhouse gas emissions. The state of California is leading the way in creating healthy and cleaner air. NOx emissions contribute to the formation of ozone, also known as smog, and fine particulate matter (PM2). Ozone can cause respiratory issues and limits the ability to fight infection and remove foreign particles. Furthermore, PM2 leads to major health effects such as increased mortality and worsening of respiratory or cardiovascular disease. By installing an ultra low NOx furnace you are taking a meaningful step towards lowering gas emissions that form ground level ozone. You are helping improve air quality and helping promote public health.
Approximately 150,000 natural gas fired furnaces are installed each year in the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). These furnaces emit NOx and in order to combat this Rule 1111 was set in place. The SCAQMD wants to help you create a healthier environment with cleaner air by reducing air pollutants in your community. In order to improve the air quality the SCAQMD has launched the CleanAir Furnace rebate program. The CLEANair Furnace Rebate program is an incentive program to encourage consumers in choosing a cleaner product with fewer air polluting emissions. By replacing your furnace with a qualified Ultra Low NOx furnace you can help meet the goal of improved air quality within the SCAQMD jurisdiction. Learn more about the program on their website here and to find out if you are in the South Coast AQMD’s jurisdiction here.
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