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HVAC Efficiency Standards Are Soon to RiseThe U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently accepted a joint settlement between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and several groups, including the Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International. The settlement comes as a result of HVAC industry groups’ dissatisfaction with the DOE’s rule-making process for regional efficiency standards, which industry leaders saw as not transparent enough and lacking in industry input.

A few changes are set to take effect as a result of the settlement:

  • The settlement vacates HVAC efficiency standards for residential nonweatherized gas furnaces in northern climates including Michigan.
  • Furnaces sold nationwide are still required to achieve an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 78 percent until Nov. 19, 2015, when the standard is set to increase to 80 percent.
  • Distributors throughout the South and Southwest have until July 1, 2016, to sell their inventory of 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) HVAC equipment manufactured before Jan. 1, 2015.
  • The DOE will evaluate and likely revise its rulemaking processes for added transparency and greater industry input.

So what does this mean for your Grosse Pointe home? For starters, it could take as long as 2022 for the DOE to finalize new furnace standards. In the meantime, the following is set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015:

  • HVAC efficiency standards for split-system central air conditioners in northern climates will remain at 13 SEER.
  • Regional standards for single-package air conditioners in northern climates are set at 14 SEER.
  • Northern climates will be set at 14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) for split-system heat pumps and 14 SEER and 8.0 HSPF for single-package systems.
  • Weatherized gas furnaces are expected to achieve an AFUE of 81 percent, while nonweatherized oil-fired furnaces achieve 83 percent AFUE by 2015.

For more information on how the coming change in HVAC efficiency standards will affect Grosse Point home, contact us at Aladdin Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about HVAC efficiency standards and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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