Government Regulations Mean It Could Cost More To Keep Your Cool

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Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning reports a new air conditioning system could cost significantly more in some areas of the country this time next year when planned government regulations go into effect.

The courts have cleared the way for the United States Department of Energy to raise minimum standards for central AC systems and for heat pumps beginning January 1, 2015. According to Dave Moody, director of marketing for Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, the shift could cost homeowners in some parts of the country $1,500-$1,700 more when purchasing a new system.

“This action is aimed at increasing energy conservation,” said Moody. “The good news is that homeowners will save an average of 5% annually on their utility bills with the more energy-efficient units, but it will mean a greater upfront investment.”

Homeowners in 15 warmer Southern states will see the minimum rating raised to 14 SEER from 13 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio.). Additionally, in five Southwest states, (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico), central A/C’s will require an EER (energy efficiency ratio) of 11.7 or 12.2, depending on the size of the unit, along with a 14 SEER rating. While the minimum ratings remain unchanged for homeowners in 30 Northern states (remaining at 13 SEER), homeowners in this region could be affected by default.

“Manufacturers have already started to change their product lines to address the new efficiency regulations,” said Moody. “There will be a 'grace period' through July 1, 2016, where any remaining inventory of 13 SEER equipment can still be installed, but there is no way to know how long the supplies will last.”

For heat pumps, the regulations are national. All new central heat pumps will be required to meet a minimum 14 SEER and 8.0-8.2 HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor). Current minimums are 13 SEER with no minimum HSPF. The 13 SEER heat pumps can be sold and installed after January 1, 2015 until supplies are exhausted.

“This is a major purchase for homeowners and these changes in regulations always bring confusion, so it’s important to work with someone who is a trained expert in the field to find the solution that’s best for your family.”

About Service Experts
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, based in Plano, Texas, is one of North America's largest heating and air conditioning brands, with over 97 locations serving more than 2,000 homes and businesses per day. Service Experts service centers provide heating repair, air conditioning repair, indoor air quality sales, HVAC system sales and installation, HVAC maintenance and HVAC repair service for both the residential and commercial HVAC markets. Find Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at http://www.serviceexperts.com.

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Karla Neely
Calise Partners
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