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For the past several years, HRAI has been working with furnace manufacturers, residential new construction contractors, homebuilder associations, regulators and utilities to find ways to address concerns about the use of gas furnaces for construction heat in residential buildings.

An industry-accepted “construction heat protocol,” originally believed to provide the necessary consumer protections, was eventually deemed by stakeholders to be ineffective and, in 2016, manufacturers collectively agreed simply to ban the use of furnaces during construction – except for during the post-drywall “finishing” stages and then only providing certain conditions were met.  The new “finishing heat protocol” agreed upon by manufacturers and other stakeholders was implemented in the fall of 2017.  Responding to pressure from homebuilders and sensing some inconsistent application of the regulations, however, many manufacturers in time reverted back to the practice of allowing use of their furnace during construction but instead included their own specific safeguards in their installation instructions.  The industry turned its attention to developing more robust provisions in the bi-national furnace standard that is referenced in building code.

During this entire period, there has been little public attention to the matter.  It now appears, however, that there is some interest from consumer groups and news media in addressing perceived impacts on new home buyers.  A report by the CBC entitled “Why your new home may come with a dirty, used furnace” was aired on July 18th.  HRAI President and CEO Sandy McLeod acknowledged that there may inconsistency in the standard of care practiced in the field but also noted that there has been very little systematic study of the problem.  The industry’s pursuit of tighter regulations that can be consistently applied in the field should in time result in an overall improvement, but the regulatory process is notoriously slow-moving.    

Click here for the CBC News story.

For more information, contact Martin Luymes at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 235, or email here.