HVAC Efficiency Standards Have Been Tweaked for 2015 — What You Need to Know

HVAC Efficiency Standards Have Been Tweaked for 2015 -- What You Need to KnowFederal standards for heating and cooling equipment are changing. The new 2015 HVAC efficiency standards will affect you whether you live in Clawson, Troy, or any of the other towns that experience typical Michigan winters. Planning now for the 2015 HVAC efficiency standards can save you money when you need to replace HVAC equipment. 

SEER, HSPF and AFUE

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) measures how well your central air conditioner works over an entire cooling season, with higher numbers yielding greater savings. The 2015 HVAC efficiency standards for SEER may not affect you very much in Troy, but new, higher standards for Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) for heat pumps can make a difference in your energy bill and usage. Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) standards are also nudged higher.

Michigan Standards

All of these measures are geared to specific regions of the country. For Michigan, in the Northern tier of the Department of Energy guidelines, the standards are:

  • SEER 13—for central air conditioners (single package or split system) and heat pumps (in cooling mode), an HVAC contractor can sell and install this level of energy efficiency through June 29, 2016.
  • HSPF 8.2—for heat pumps (in heating mode) sold after January 1, 2015
  • AFUE 80 percent—By November, 2015, this will be the new national minimum, barely rising from current 78 percent AFUE.

Why the Tiers?

The Department of Energy realizes northern states use more heat and less cooling, which is reversed for southern states. The national goals are to reduce dependency on foreign energy, lower consumer energy bills, and bring down levels of greenhouse gases. To attain these goals, southern states are asked for greater increases in energy efficiency for cooling, while northern states must meet 2015 HVAC efficiency standards.

How New Standards Affect You

When you shop for new HVAC equipment, your dealer may offer you cooling equipment manufactured under the old standards, which is perfectly fine until 2016. For heat pumps and furnaces, make sure to buy equipment meeting the new standards. For more help in meeting the 2015 HVAC efficiency standards, 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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