We’ll Explain What It Means for You and Your Household
Greetings, fellow Texans! As most of us were focused on ringing in the new year in celebration mode, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was focused on ringing in 2023 in regulation mode—new efficiency rules for air conditioners and heat pumps.
That’s right. Under the new rules that took effect Jan. 1, the efficiency of your air conditioner or heat pump will be measured by SEER2. Previously, it was measured by SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Due to improved technology and testing, the goal of the new standards is to provide HVAC professionals and consumers with even more accurate overall efficiency ratings.
A more accurately rated system, along with a routine HVAC maintenance plan should mean improved comfort and lower monthly energy bills for you.
So, what does this mean for us here in Texas? Well, the DOE has divided the country into three regions—North, Southeast and Southwest—and made the rules slightly different for each region because different areas of the country have different climate and heating/cooling needs.
We’re Part of the Southeast Region
Texas is part of the Southeast region, so here’s how the new rules affect us:
- All residential central air systems that are below 45,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) must have a SEER2 rating of at least 14.3 (previously 15 SEER). (BTUs measure the cooling power of air conditioners.)
- All residential central air systems that are 45,000 BTU and above must have a SEER2 rating of 13.8 (previously 14 SEER).
- All heat pumps must have a SEER2 rating of at least 14.3 (previously 15 SEER).
Effective Jan., 1, systems that don’t meet these standards cannot be sold or installed in the Southeast region. Be careful! In the North, some of the rules are based on the manufacturing date, which means certain equipment can be installed even if it does not meet the new SEER2 standards. However, that equipment must have been manufactured before Jan. 1, 2023. That is not the case here, where equipment that does not meet the new standards cannot be sold or installed, no matter when it was manufactured.
Confused? We get it! At Blue Ribbon, we’re familiar with all of the ins and outs of these new rules and will make sure the equipment we sell and install for you is 100% compliant. However, not every contractor out there has your best interests at heart, so make sure you are dealing with a company you can trust!
Good News and Bad News
Unfortunately, the bad news is these new rules are expected to create even more disruptions to the HVAC industry supply chain, one that has already been heavily impacted by COVID-19. They also are expected to boost equipment prices. So, if your system is 15 years old or older, we highly recommend you act now. It will put you at the front of the line and could also help you save money before prices climb even further.
The good news is the new equipment will be even more efficient than your old equipment, which will generate more energy savings over time. Of course, another key to efficiency is routine air conditioning and heat pump maintenance.
Ready to update your equipment? Use our convenient form or call us at 512.308.3515 to schedule your appointment today.