New Energy Efficiency Regulations
The Department of Energy's (DOE) new minimum efficiency requirements will begin on January 1, 2023.
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) new minimum efficiency requirements will begin on January 1, 2023. The changes affect all newly manufactured residential and manufactured housing air conditioners and heat pumps. There are new, more stringent testing procedures to determine the SEER rating of units. The new testing methods more accurately reflect field conditions. The change in testing procedures will reduce efficiency ratings versus the current SEER, EER, and HSPF ratings. As such, new metrics and nomenclature were developed.
Why Change Efficiency Regulations?
Every six years, the DOE evaluates current technology, its efficiency, and the cost of technology to determine the balance between price and environmental savings. The goal of the new requirements is to reduce energy usage. Under the new guidelines, consumers should see a reduction in their utility costs.
New Refrigerant Regulations
A new, more environmentally friendly refrigerant, R-454b, will replace R-410A. In addition, the new refrigerant can make air conditioners more efficient, which will save homeowners money. The current refrigerant, R-410A, is a hydrofluorocarbon. While HFCs are ozone friendly, they are potent greenhouse gasses. The new refrigerant has only a fraction of the Global Warming Potential of R-410a or Freon®.
According to a leading industry expert, even if your Air conditioner is only ten years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. The savings could reach as much as $10,000 over ten years.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE MAIN BENEFIT OF THE NEW GUIDELINES?
The new Energy Efficiency Ratings will reduce energy usage and utility bills.
WHAT DATE DO THE NEW REQUIREMENTS START, AND WHAT DO THEY MEAN TO ME?
Effective January 1, 2023, all contractors must sell equipment that meets the new DOE minimum efficiency standards.
WHY DOES MY STATE HAVE HIGHER REQUIREMENTS?
Climate is a driving factor in the determination. In warmer climates, homeowners use more energy to cool their homes. Therefore, they represent the most significant opportunity for energy savings. As climate change becomes an even more significant issue, HVAC companies need to develop sustainable, eco-friendly products.
WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL SAVINGS OF SWITCHING TO R-454B REFRIGERANT?
The new refrigerant requirement could save the equivalent of 27 million household usage. That translates to about $38 billion in utility bill savings.
CAN AN R-410A AIR CONDITIONER USE R-454B?
No. Refrigerants operate at different pressures, and current equipment cannot handle the pressure change.
WHAT ARE THE SEER (SEASONAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATINGS) FOR MY AREA?
See charts below.
Split Air Conditioners - 2023 Regional Standards
*10.2 EER if SEER > 16.0 ** 9.8 EER2 if SEER2 > 15.2 *** 12.2 EER if <45K BTU, 11.7 EER if >45K BTU