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Understanding New HVAC Guidelines for 2023


New federal HVAC guidelines from the Department of Energy kick in on Jan. 1, 2023, and the changes will affect new heating and cooling equipment. Here’s what Georgia homeowners need to know.

Stricter Testing Requirements

Product testing is a significant component of a manufacturer’s quality control process. However, testing conditions will change starting in 2023.

The new requirements increase the external static pressure on an AC unit, furnace, or heat pump. This increased pressure better reflects how your unit performs once it’s installed. The upgraded testing metrics will result in airflow and blower motor wattage changes, so manufacturers will redesign components to meet these changes.

Revised Efficiency Ratings

In 2023, DOE guidelines raise the minimum efficiency standards for HVAC equipment. However, the improved testing conditions will lead to lower but more accurate efficiency ratings, so new designations are needed:

  • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for air conditioners becomes SEER2
  • Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) for furnaces becomes AFUE2
  • Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) for heat pumps becomes HSPF2

What do these changes mean to you?

HVAC units that don’t meet the new efficiency requirements for the southeast region of the United States cannot be sold or installed in Georgia starting Jan. 1, 2023. This will affect those looking to install new or replace existing systems, but you can still use your current equipment until it needs replaced.

Because heating and cooling account for 55% of the energy used in your home, greater efficiency is welcome news. While more-efficient equipment might initially cost more than underperforming units, energy savings will pay off long term.

Georgia homeowners can count on our skilled service technicians for clear explanations and guidance about these upcoming changes. And there’s no need to worry: We’ll be around to take care of your current system. For more information on E. Smith Heating & Air Conditioning and how we can improve your year-round comfort, check out our heating and air conditioning services or give us a call.

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