Furnace Fans


Furnace fans circulate air heated by a furnace through a home’s duct system into the living space. For homes with central air conditioning, the furnace fan also serves to circulate conditioned air during the cooling season. 


The current standards for furnace fans took effect in 2019 and are the first efficiency performance standards for these products. The standards specify a maximum fan energy rating (FER) that varies based on the airflow delivered by the furnace fan. For most furnace fans, the standards effectively require the use of efficient brushless permanent magnet (BPM) motors, which reduce electricity consumption by about 50% compared to conventional permanent split capacitor (PSC) motors.

In 2023, DOE published a notice of proposed determination (NOPD) that tentatively determined that amended standards for furnace fans are not warranted. 

*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.


Furnace fans are among the largest users of electricity in a typical household. Prior to the current standards taking effect, most furnace fans, utilizing inefficient PSC motors, consumed about 1,000 kWh of electricity per year on average, or nearly 10% of an average household’s electricity use. 

Savings through what year?: 2048
Energy saved (quads): 3.99
CO2 savings (million metric tons): 180.6
Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate: 28.8
Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate: 10.0


Federal Date States
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2025
Updated DOE Standard Due 2022
1st Federal Standard Effective 2019
1st Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2014
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2014
2007 MD Standard Adopted
2006 NH Standard Adopted
2006 VT Standard Adopted
EPACT Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 2005
2005 MA Standard Adopted
2005 RI Standard Adopted

States not showing an effective date have an ongoing rulemaking process to determine standards.

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.