HVAC Systems

Are Energy Standards for HVAC Systems Changing?

Energy efficiency is a must in every home and one of the most effective ways to save on energy is with HVAC systems. Energy standards have long been set by local governments to try and provide manufacturers with guidelines for proper creation of HVAC equipment. To provide you with quality equipment based on new technology, energy standards must change and evolve.

If you are considering installing a new HVAC system in your home this year, there are some changes as far as energy standards to HVAC systems that you need to know. There was a new law passed in April of 2014 that changes the efficiency standards of HVAC systems in both residential and commercial buildings. The new 2015 HVAC efficiency standards will determine which of the HVAC units you can use in your home, leading to your choice for new installation. This article will discuss how the energy standards are changing and what that will mean for your new installation.

Higher Efficiency Rating Requirements

The first major change in the new energy standards is that the HVAC unit efficiency is now being measured in Season Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for air conditioners and heat pumps will now be measured by the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). The minimum rating currently for the SEER for air conditioners is a 13. This rate will increase to a 14 for 2015 in most areas. However, in some states that have cooler climates, such as northern states and colder climates, will be able to keep the rating of 13. Split-system heat pumps will go from a SEER rating of 13 to 14 and a HSPF rating of 7.7 to 8.2.   These are the new national minimum ratings.

Changes to Energy Guide Labels

The second major change in the new energy standards for HVAC systems is that the yellow tags that are attached to the HVAC systems that show you the FTC Energy Guide label information will now change. From now on, these yellow tags will now show a range of ratings that are possible for the unit and all of the different components, instead of only showing the SEER and HSPF ratings for the unit as only a single rating point. This change on the yellow tags will ensure that all of the components of the new HVAC system are following the newest energy standards.

All of these changes in the 2015 HVAC efficiency standards means that as a homeowner, you do not necessarily need to fully understand the new rules, but you should have a general knowledge of the rules. The job of fully understanding the changes is up to the professional installer. For this reason alone, it is extremely important to choose a contractor who is up to date on these changes and well informed. When you do your research on the contractor you will choose for your installation, be sure to choose a certified installer and inquire about their training and knowledge of these new changes. To get more valuable information about energy efficiency or other issues related to cooling, heating or indoor air quality, contact your HVAC contractor to educate you in this area.

These changes have been put in place to be of benefit to consumers. When you have older equipment in the home, you can be at risk for a fire hazard as well as health issues. Be sure to have your equipment upgraded as years pass to ensure your home is safe and comfortable year round. Your HVAC system is an important tool that provides you and your family with lasting comfort year after year, so keep your unit in top condition, up to quality energy standards.