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HVAC Systems Efficiency Standards Will Be Stronger In 2013

There are plenty of changes on the horizon when it comes to HVAC efficiency standards, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy. The DOE recently announced elevated minimum and regional standards for residential HVAC systems. When these standards come into effect, residential HVAC users who upgrade their furnace and air conditioning systems will enjoy new gains in overall energy efficiency and greater cost savings.

What are these new standards?

The DOE proposed a series of national and regional HVAC efficiency standards that will begin to take effect on May 1, 2013. The new standards will require non-weatherized furnaces and mobile home gas furnaces sold in North Carolina and other southeastern states to have a minimum AFUE rating of 80 percent. Furnaces sold in the northern region of the U.S. must have an AFUE of 90 percent.

More stringent standards for central air conditioners are due to take effect on January 1, 2015. By that time, all central air conditioners installed in North Carolina and elsewhere in the southeast must be a minimum of 14 SEER. Split system heat pumps are also required to be at least 14 SEER on and after that date.

Defining AFUE and SEER

AFUE and SEER are two measurements used to gauge HVAC system efficiency. AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency, represents the thermal efficiency of furnaces and water heaters, while SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, represents the overall efficiency of heat pumps and air conditioning systems.

How will these new standards affect you?

When you replace your old HVAC system with one that abides by these new HVAC efficiency standards, you’ll see a long-term decrease in both your energy usage and energy costs. In short, you’ll be able to effectively cool and heat your home without worrying about increased energy consumption or the resulting costs. These higher-efficiency HVAC systems will also carry a much smaller environmental footprint than their predecessors.

To get more information about the upcoming HVAC efficiency standards, contact the professionals at Blanton’s Heating & A/C. Since 1951, we’ve provided Fayetteville residents with the best in HVAC installation, repair and maintenance.