January 1st is a time to “start fresh.” It’s the rolling over of the calendar year and a time when people make resolutions to live better. New Year’s Day is also the beginning of a new year of laws and legislation.
You may not know it, but the Department of Energy recently made rule changes that govern your heating and air conditioning equipment, and all of them went into effect on January 1, 2023.
No one expects you to study all these new regulations! That’s Air Therm’s job, and we’re happy to keep you informed of changes in our industry. We want you to know how these new energy rules might affect you and your family this year…and believe me, they might!
The new Department of Energy regulations for 2023 state that all new HVAC equipment must have a higher SEER rating than in 2022. For Northern states, the SEER rating goes from 13 to 14. For us here in Georgia, the SEER rating increases from 14 to 15.
If you don’t know what a SEER rating is, don’t feel bad. Unless you’re in the HVAC industry - or are a serious student of energy regulations - there’s no reason for you to know the term. Air Therm has got you covered.
SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Basically, it’s a measurement of how cool your air conditioner can make your air compared to how much it costs to make it cool.
An increase in one SEER may not seem like a big deal, but it will eventually affect your family.
If you need to invest in a new unit, it will cost more than it did last year. (Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger!)
When the government mandated that the equipment be more efficient this year, manufacturers had to change some of the parts inside the units. Now, they must use different components with the ability to do more than the old ones did. In 2023, those parts must be more powerful or have more capacity, upping the price.
According to energy experts, the new laws requiring more efficient air conditioners will increase the cost of your new system by 15%-30%.
The good news is that your new air conditioner will keep your house cooler with less energy, saving you money in the long term. That’s a great thing for you and your family!
You’ll also be making less of a carbon footprint and conserving the earth’s energy resources.
Air Therm can help you find the air conditioner that’s right for your family, your home, your lifestyle, and your budget if you need to replace your current one. We can install it, maintain it, and keep you comfortable with equipment that always meets the required standards
In addition to the increase in the SEER rating, the new regulations require manufacturers to add a second SEER rating, aptly named the SEER2.
A SEER2 rating is based on new and improved testing that better evaluates the efficiency of the unit.
In the future, the SEER2 rating will replace the SEER, but for now, all units will include both a SEER rating and a SEER2 rating.
Here in the South, the required SEER2 rating on a new air conditioning unit for 2023 will be 14.3.
While it may cost you more this year, the next air conditioner you own will lower your utility bills, be environmentally friendly, and keep your home more comfortable than your old system.
It will also probably be slightly bigger than the old one, (because of the more powerful parts,) and it will cost more to ship because of the increased size.
How old is your air conditioner?
If it was made prior to 2010, you will need to have it replaced because it uses a refrigerant called R-22. R-22 is no longer available, so it will be impossible to recharge the old system with refrigerant.
R-22 was one of the earliest and most common refrigerants until scientists discovered that the chlorine in the compound was destroying the earth’s ozone layer. It was so damaging, in fact, that the import and production of R-22 has been banned since 2010.
In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required that air conditioners use the refrigerant, R-410A, which was less harmful to the environment, but still contains hydrofluorocarbons, (HFCs) chemicals that damage the atmosphere.
In fact, over the next fifteen years, the production and importation of HFCs will be decreased by 85%.
So now, the EPA requires that all new HVAC equipment will use the refrigerant R-454b which is less harmful to the environment.
The change in refrigerant requirements doesn’t mean much to your family unless you have a very old system that stops working because it needs refrigerant. Then you’ll have to invest in a new system which, in the long term, is a great move because it will be much more efficient and save money on utilities.
Systems manufactured after 2010 will still be able to be recharged with R-410A in the near future.
Air Therm cares about you. We treat you like our grandma! We would never put an inferior system into our grandma’s house, and we won’t do it for you either. Our technicians are skilled; our salespeople are knowledgeable. Our staff is friendly and helpful. Air Therm’s family cares about yours.
Let us help you with a new, efficient air conditioning and heating unit that meets all the new rules and regulations. Call us at 912-234-7268.