There are new Government regulations about to go into effect that may have an impact on you.
The Government has recently made regulations that have had an impact on the cost and availability of R-22 (old Freon) as well as the availability of equipment for existing R-22 systems.
They are At it again! There has been much back and forth, confusion and delays concerning pending changes. Finally the official word is out.
The actual laws are based on different climate zones. This actually makes sense. The air conditioning regulations in Fort Worth for minimum efficiency will be different than it is in the frozen north.
The new law will begin Jan 2015. The minimum efficiency for air conditioning in Fort Worth will be 14 SEER (currently 13). Heat pumps will also need to rate at 8.2 HSPF (currently 7.7)
I generally haven’t recommended minimum efficiency for awhile but I know sometimes a budget will only stretch so far and there are rent houses and commercial circumstances where initial cost is a bigger concern than efficiency. I also frequently run into situations where a house is being sold or someone wants to ONLY replace an outdoor unit instead of the entire heating and air conditioning system. These are the times I see the new efficiency regulations having the most impact.
The new regulations will lower energy usage, carbon footprint etc. but there a few other things it will do.
- The minimum cost for air conditioning equipment will increase.
- Compatibility with existing equipment will sometimes be an issue causing some to replace more equipment than they planned.
- Options will be Eliminated: I suspect “dry shipped” r-22 equipment that is getting around current regulations through a loophole will begin to disappear. Manufacturers continued some of their old R-22 line but ship it with no refrigerant in it. This gets them around the old law. This has kept a viable option to people to just replace the outdoor part of their air conditioner. With the pending regulations I do not expect manufacturers to create new R-22 lines to meet new requirements. This will force more people to replace their entire system rather than just part.
There is a new set of efficiency requirements for water heaters.
If you are holding onto old equipment you should consider how these changes may impact you.