Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

How Changing HVAC Efficiency Standards Affect Arizonans

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and a team of industry experts last year released a new set of HVAC efficiency standards for air conditioners and heat pumps. They broke the country into regions, and Arizona falls into the designated Southwest region, where the most significant changes will affect cooling equipment.

The cooling standards rise on Jan. 1, 2015, for air conditioners and heat pumps, with an increase of the minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) from 13 to 14.

Heat pumps are a good choice for Southwest Arizona because winter temperatures seldom fall into the 30s, where heat pump heating efficiency begins to decline. The minimum heating performance for heat pumps goes up from 7.7 HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) to 8.2, which means that the more efficient equipment will cost you less to heat your home when you do need it.

The Energy Department raised the minimum HVAC efficiency standards in order to lower the amount of energy used for cooling homes. The federal agency estimates that half of the energy that households consume goes toward conditioning their homes. By raising the minimums, the agency hopes to lower fuel and electrical usage.

Not only does this keep the air cleaner and lower the carbon footprint, it also slows the need for new fuel supplies or power plants. It may also prevent summertime brownouts or shorten blackouts when the heat is exceptional.

Given how long and hot the summers are in the Yuma area, a higher minimum efficiency for air conditioners and heat pumps translates into lower cooling bills. The 14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF ratings are the minimums that currently qualify for the federal Energy Star program. Though the equipment typically costs more, the energy savings more than make up for the initial cost by lowering monthly electrical bills.

If you would like to learn more about the changes in HVAC efficiency standards, contact Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric Company. We’ve provided quality HVAC services for Southwest Arizona and Yuma since 1952.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about efficiency standards and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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