Manufacturers of residential central air conditioners and heat pumps have been required to comply with energy conservation standards determined by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) since 1992. These standards have been implemented to improve the efficiency of heating and cooling units nationwide and reduce their carbon monoxide emissions. The DOE periodically upgrades the standards, mandating increased efficiency each time.
Higher A/C efficiency standards ultimately means financial savings for homeowners and reduced pollution for the planet. Beginning January 1, 2015, the most recent alterations to DOE’s energy standards will go into effect. For those of us living in Texas, we will see the following changes:
- The annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) standards for gas-fired furnaces will increase from 78 to 80 percent beginning in November of 2015.
- Central air conditioning and heat pump units must meet the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 14 beginning January 1, 2015. This upgrade from 13-SEER applies only to the southern region of the country, including Texas.
- HVAC distributors will still be allowed to sell 13-SEER central air-conditioning and heat pump units for 18 months after the January 1, 2015 deadline.
- Heat pump units of 13-SEER will become unsalable after June 30, 2016, as the policy upgrade to 14-SEER applies to the entire country.
- Central A/C units of 13-SEER can be sold to distributors in northern states, as the new upgrades in DOE policy only apply to states in the southern and southwestern zones.
Although a bit confusing at first, having higher A/C efficiency standards is actually a very positive step towards overall money and energy savings. Homeowners will enjoy reduced monthly bills while reducing the carbon emissions of their heating and cooling units.
Residents of the Corpus Christi area interested in learning more about the upcoming changes to DOE policy and higher A/C efficiency standards can contact the professional staff at Constantly Concerned About Customers (CCAC) Air Conditioning, Heating, Indoor Air Quality, and Insulation. We are here to help you!
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/C efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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