Changes that may affect your buying decisions when purchasing a new heating or cooling system are incorporated in the 2015 HVAC efficiency standards set to take effect at the first of the year. The debate to mandate increased energy efficiency in furnaces and air conditioners has not been without controversy; some provisions of the federal government’s proposal are still on hold indefinitely. However, other terms are now ready for implementation, beginning with new equipment installed on or after Jan. 1. If you’re shopping for a new system, here’s what’s to expect with the new 2015 HVAC efficiency standards.
2015 HVAC Efficiency Standards
The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating expresses the efficiency of central air conditioners and heat pumps. Previously, a single SEER minimum of 13 was applied to the entire U.S. Beginning in 2015, however, the SEER will be keyed to geographical zones: In the South, new A/Cs must have a higher minimum of SEER 14 while the present SEER 13 is still permissible for air conditioners sold in Northern zones.
Split-system heat pumps will now have a 50-state minimum requirement of SEER 14. The heating efficiency rating for heat pumps, known as Heating System Performance Factor (HSPF), will also increase from 7.7 to 8.2 nationwide.
The way efficiency ratings are presented to you, the consumer, will also undergo some alterations. The familiar yellow (no, they’re not changing the color) EnergyGuide sticker on new equipment has long been the at-a-glance source for efficiency and performance information about a new air conditioner or furnace. Because a split-system central air conditioner consists of a matched set of indoor and outdoor coils, beginning with the new year, EnergyGuide efficiency ratings will be displayed as a range of efficiencies rather than a single, set number. This range will depict all potential efficiencies, dependent upon which certified combination of coils is installed with your system. This serves to ensure that all parts of the system – inside and outdoor – are in compliance with new efficiency standards.
For more information about the 2015 HVAC efficiency standards and how they affect your buying choices in western Florida, please contact us at Aqua Plumbing and Air.