In January of 2023, changes to energy efficiency standards will go into effect. Every six years, the Department of Energy (DOE) evaluates the energy efficiency of appliances and determines whether changes are necessary. The DOE determined that the minimum energy efficiency standards need to be increased for air conditioners and heat pumps and testing protocols will change as well. The good news is that you don't have to deal with this issue alone! The team at Comfort Air is here to help you understand these new regulations and how they will impact you. The New Regulations: The DOE separates the country out into three different regions–North, South, and Southwest. All of these regions will be impacted by the change, but the standards are different for each region. Across the board, all the regions will experience a 1 SEER increase. The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating essentially is the ratio of the cooling/heat output and the energy used to accomplish the cooling/heating. A higher SEER rating means that the cooling/heat output is achieved with less energy consumption. The new regulation requires that all heat pumps have a 15 SEER rating. AC ratings vary based upon the region. The North region has to have a 14 SEER and the South and Southwest have to have a 15 SEER. FAQ about the Regulations: “Do I have to replace my existing unit?”--If your AC unit or heat pump are in good working order, you do not need to replace them just to meet the standard. Whenever you need to replace them because of age or failure, your new unit will have to follow the standards at that time. If you recently had an AC system or heat pump installed, you will not have to replace your unit before the DOE reevaluates energy efficiency again. Our technicians at Comfort Air will make sure to keep you up-to-date on the latest standards whenever you need a change. AC units and heat pumps have an average lifespan of 15 years, so choosing to upgrade to a current energy efficient model may be in your best interest if your unit is nearing that age. “How does greater energy efficiency impact me?”--The greatest impact for most homeowners or business owners is the cost for running their unit. An energy efficient unit will save money on your annual cooling and heating bills. Although models with greater efficiency can have a higher upfront cost, the long-term savings make up for the cost easily. “Do these regulations apply to both individuals and businesses?”--The new regulations apply to all new AC or heat pump systems, regardless of whether they are in an office building or home. Existing systems are not required to be replaced if they are functioning properly and installed prior to next January.“If I need to replace my system this year, should I go ahead and choose one that meets the new standard?”--Absolutely! We recommend going ahead and upgrading to a unit that meets the region’s new regulations. If you have any questions about the regulation coming in January, reach out to Comfort Air. We are standing by to help you understand your options for energy efficiency.
Replacing your HVAC system can be overwhelming. There are many elements to consider once it happens. If your system is broken when you need it most, it can add additional pressure as you determine the steps you need to take. Fortunately, you can ask questions to ensure you think about all aspects of HVAC replacement. These questions will help you adequately plan to find another HVAC system that fits your needs. Here are five questions you should ask yourself when replacing your HVAC system: What is the age of your HVAC system? According to the United States Department of Energy, the average HVAC's lifespan is 15 to 20 years. However, the lifespan could be shorter if you live in hotter climates that require the use of your heating and cooling system more than others. Therefore, understanding the age of your HVAC system can help you determine how often you should replace it. If you're approaching the higher end of that age range, it is time to start thinking about replacing your HVAC system. How large is your home? The size and layout of your home will impact the effectiveness of an HVAC system. If you have added square footage to your home, renovated an area, or plan to move to another location entirely, your HVAC needs have likely evolved. The impact of your current heating and cooling system will not be the same. Adding footage to your home will change the airflow and reach of an HVAC system. For this reason, it is crucial to take note of any changes and keep these in mind as you look for HVAC systems. Have you kept up with regular HVAC maintenance? Depending on the problem, your HVAC unit may not need a full-on replacement. For example, if you've routinely cleaned the filters, replaced any worn components such as belts, and cleaned condensers, then the issue that you're having with your HVAC system could be a simple repair. If you haven't done any routine maintenance on your HVAC system, then the issues could be advanced enough that it makes more economic sense to replace your HVAC system instead of trying to fix the problem. What is your budget for HVAC replacement? Depending on how large your home is and any features you need, it is worth thinking about your budget. If you are unsure whether it would be more affordable to repair your HVAC or purchase a new one, an HVAC professional can help you with your decision. What type of HVAC system do you need? There are a lot of different HVAC systems out there, and it is essential to understand the features that will benefit you and your family. For example, a central A/C unit can cool your entire home. In contrast, a ductless mini-split A/C unit may make more sense if you need to cool one room or have a smaller home. We recommend taking time to research different HVAC systems and determine which one best suits your needs. Replacing your HVAC system can be a daunting process. But, the good news is that you don't have to deal with this issue alone! The Comfort Air Atlanta team is both licensed, and EPA certified. We can help you answer these questions to find the best HVAC system for you. Give us a call at (404) 296-6190 to start the process.