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  • 2015 HVAC Efficiency Standards: What You Need to Know

    HVAC Efficiency Standards Chart

    In April last year (2014), the D.O.E (Department of Energy of the US) confirmed the impending changes for HVAC efficiency for commercial and residential equipment. But, if the research done by Emerson Climate Technologies Inc is anything to go by, a whopping 74% of contractors are not aware of the upcoming HVAC Efficiency Standards changes as well as how to prepare their staffs to meet the new regulations. In this post, we tell you the important aspects of the coming change and that you need to know.

    What’s changing?

    The SEER rating (SEER stands for Seasonal Energy and Efficiency Ratio) indicates the efficiency of heat pumps and central air conditioners. In the past, a single SEER rating minimum of 13 used to be applied to the whole of the United States. But in the new changes which took effect on January 1st 2015, the SEER rating will be keyed into geographical zones.

    In California for instance, according to new HVAC Efficiency Standards, air conditioners a minimum SEER rating of 14 but in other northern zones, SEER 13 is still being allowed.

    Split-system heat pumps, on the other hand, will have a fifty-state minimum of SEER 14. Heating System Performance Factor (HSPF), which refers to heating pumps’ efficiency rating, will also go up to 7.7 to a nationwide minimum of 8.2.

    There are also changes in the manner efficiency ratings will be presented to the consumer. The usual yellow Energy Guide sticker on new energy equipment has been the indicator of performance and efficiency information regarding a new furnace or air conditioner. Since split-system air conditioners normally consist of a matched set of outdoor and indoor coils, starting January 2015, Energy Guide efficiency ratings have not been displaying one set number but a range of efficiencies. The range is meant to depict all possible efficiencies, based upon which certified grouping of coils will then be installed with the system. The reason for this is so as to ensure all system parts- indoor and outdoor- comply fully with the new efficiency standards.

    How to prepare for new HVAC Efficiency Standards

    It is important to learn about the 2015 HVAC efficiency standards, because enforcement has already begun. HVAC contractors should be able to tell that the equipment they are installing not only meets the minimum standards of new regulations but also the consumer needs.

    Most US manufacturers are already offering SEER 14 heat pumps, and many of them could tweak the current SEER 14 designs to be in line with product demands. Although the changes were rolled out in January 2015, the new standards give distributors a grace period of 18 months in which to dispose of their current inventory.

    As a resident of California, you need to know what the new 2015 HVAC efficiency standard mean for you. This will enable you to make an informed decision on which HVAC system to install. Also, we are here to help answer any related questions you may have, so don't hesitate to contact us.