Minimum Efficiency Standards Residential HVAC - The following information is the current Federal minimum for residential HVAC equipment. The new regulations mandated by the Department of Energy came into effect on January 1, 2015. Furthermore, these minimum efficiency ratings are subject to change at any time.

Minimum Efficiency Standards Residential HVAC

Expect more minimum efficiency standards from the government in the future especially as energy costs rise especially the cost of electric power. As a result of efficiency standards rising so will the cost of purchasing new HVAC equipment. In the long run, t does save you money on power bills including gas bills.

Minimum Efficiency Standards Residential HVAC - Costs to You

Why does it cost more for the newer equipment? Manufacturers and distributors must comply with the new rules in more than one way. First of all, they must engineer the equipment to get higher levels of efficiency as the mandate specifies. This causes them to retool their production for the newer equipment. Additionally, since this mandate also has an enforcement part to it (for the first time), manufacturers have to make sure they comply with every single detail otherwise they could face steep fines.

Some people may celebrate the government fining companies, for whatever reason or new mandate, but it becomes a cost of doing business. Those costs are ALWAYS ultimately passed on to the consumer in the way of paying more for the products. So the next time you hear the government fined some business for something expect a rise in prices because that business will recoup that money somehow otherwise they will go out of business.

Federal Minimum Efficiency Standards for Residential Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps

Effective January 1, 2015 (single-phase models 65,000 Btu/h and under)

System Type

North RegionSouthwest Region

Southeast Region

Split System Air Conditioners

13 SEER14 SEER/12.2 EER (Under 45k Btu/h)14 SEER

14 SEER/11.7 EER (Over 45k Btu/h)

Package Air Conditioners

14 SEER14 SEER/11.0 EER14 SEER

Split System Heat Pumps

14 SEER/8.2 HSPF14 SEER/8.2 HSPF

14 SEER/8.2 HSPF

Package Heat Pumps14 SEER/8.2 HSPF14 SEER/8.0 HSPF

14 SEER/8.0 HSPF

Package Gas Electric14 SEER/81% AFUE14 SEER/81% AFUE/11 EER

14 SEER/81% AFUE

Minimum Efficiency Standards Residential HVAC

Minimum Efficiency Standards Residential HVAC - The Industry and Consumers

Now I’m not saying every business should go willy-nilly and violate all government rules and regulations. Furthermore, what I am saying is that 99.9 percent of the manufacturers that fall under this mandate have been doing business for years without this new standard. I’m in the industry and I know without a doubt that many of these manufacturers would love nothing more than to sell you a higher efficiency air conditioner, heat pump, or gas furnace. Therefore, it is in their best interest to always push higher rated equipment over the bare minimum efficiency levels.

I do it myself for a few reasons and yes one of those reasons is that I make a little more money when I sell a higher-rated air conditioner, heat pump, or gas furnace. That is not my core motivation though. The bottom line is my customer and their satisfaction. When I get a call two or three months after I installed a new system and the customer tells me how much better the new system along with how their gas or electric bill is lower I feel more than satisfied and know the customer is happy.

Note: New standards are in the process of being adopted for 2023. Standby. As soon as we get further details we’ll report on the new proposed changes coming in 2023. A cursory look at the proposed upgrades for efficiency looks like it will be a fractional upgrade on SEER and EER ratings for new HVAC equipment.

High Performance HVAC

Minimum Efficiency Standards Residential HVAC