High-Efficiency Modern AC-Heater Units

Recent U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) updates may significantly impact homeowners considering installing or replacing HVAC systems. These changes specifically pertain to SEER ratings and the type of refrigerants used in HVAC systems across the United States.

Understanding SEER Ratings

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) quantifies an air conditioning unit’s cooling efficiency and energy consumption. A higher SEER rating indicates a more energy-efficient unit. Before these changes, air conditioning units in northern states were required to have a SEER rating of 13, while those in southern states needed a rating of 14.

Key Changes to SEER Requirements

Effective January 1, 2023, the DOE has imposed new SEER requirements. Units installed in northern states must now possess a SEER rating of 14, whereas those in southern states require a rating of 15. Additionally, the HVAC industry is transitioning to the SEER 2 standard.

What is SEER 2?

SEER 2 maintains the basic principle of measuring an AC unit’s efficiency but modifies the testing conditions. These changes aim to ensure that the SEER ratings are more reflective of real-world conditions.

Evolving AC Refrigerants

Historically, Freon (R-22) served as the primary refrigerant in HVAC systems. However, there is a shift towards using alternatives like Puron (R-140). R-140a is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) with a significant global warming potential.

In light of this, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aims to reduce HFC usage by 85% within 15 years. Starting in 2023, the industry increasingly focuses on environmentally friendly alternatives such as A2L refrigerants and R-454b.

Advantages and Disadvantages of These Changes

The primary goal behind these updates is to minimize the environmental footprint of HVAC systems. As units become more energy-efficient, homeowners can anticipate a cost reduction. However, finding replacement parts for older systems may become challenging, and initial supply chain disruptions are expected for newer systems.

Recommendations for Homeowners

For those with relatively new or well-maintained HVAC systems, immediate action may be optional. However, if you anticipate needing a new HVAC system soon, it may be prudent to act quickly. Keep abreast of announcements from the DOE and EPA to make informed decisions about your HVAC needs.

Schedule HVAC Services with Rostron Premium Home Services

Serving Monmouth & Ocean County, Rostron Premium Home Services is your go-to solution for all HVAC requirements. If it’s time to replace your air conditioning unit, our experienced technicians can efficiently install a new, high-efficiency system, ensuring you enjoy cost-effective and reliable cooling.

See also: The SAVE GREEN Project Rebates & Financing.

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