What to Know About 2023 HVAC Regulation Changes

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HVAC equipment standards are constantly changing. More regulations are on the horizon — and they might be coming into effect much sooner than you’d expect.

Beginning January 1, 2023, new minimum efficiency requirements will go into effect for all HVAC equipment. These updated requirements will affect homeowners nationally, but just how will they affect you?

If your HVAC system is in great shape, then probably not much. If you’ve been considering replacing your HVAC system or you’re building a new home and need a system installed, then you’ll feel the impact of these regulations.

New Minimum Efficiency Standards

The Department of Energy (DOE) is updating the minimum efficiency standards for air conditioners and heat pumps. If you were not aware, the energy efficiency of many HVAC systems is measured according to a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER rating). The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system is considered to be.

2023 Central Air Conditioners Efficiency Standards

The 2023 HVAC regulation changes will vary by region, but in the Southeast and the Southwest, the minimum efficiency requirements will increase from 14.0 to 15.0 SEER. In the North, the standards will rise from 13.0 to 14.0 SEER. Yes, that’s technically only a difference of 1 SEER point, but in actuality it means the minimum efficiency is increasing by seven to ten percent.

2023 Heat Pump Standards

Note that all mini-splits are heat pumps, but not all heat pumps are mini-splits, and neither of them got left out of the regulations. The regulations call for an increase from 14 to 15 SEER for certain products. The DOE has established a national standard for heat pump efficiencies, so there won’t be different requirements according to region.

Updated Testing Procedures and Metrics

In addition to new regulations in 2023, there are also new test procedures that HVAC manufacturers must follow that are supposed to be stricter and more accurate. Because these updated procedures will use a new system of measurement, the terms SEER, EER and HSPF are being retired. Moving forward, manufacturers will be using the metrics SEER2, EER2, and HSPF2.

What we currently call 14 SEER will be referred to as 13.4 SEER2. Also, what we refer to as 15 SEER will now equate to 14.3 SEER2.

Will HVAC Prices Go Up in 2023?

Yes. HVAC systems have always been a significant- albeit crucial to optimal living conditions- investment upfront. Traditionally, there has been some solace that the more energy efficient your system is (the higher the SEER rating), the more energy and money you will save over time on your utility bills. This serves as a good balance for homeowners — especially those that are looking to lower utility costs and live a little more eco-friendly.

With the additional of new, stricter regulations and testing procedures in 2023, the high cost of advanced HVAC parts and equipment- like variable speed air handlers- to meet those demands is going to get passed on to the consumer. So when the 2023 HVAC efficiency standards go into effect, it’s safe to say that the cost of a new air conditioning system is not going to be lower than it is right now. So, if you’re preparing to replace your AC, it’s time to buy.

Install a New HVAC System With Phoenix Air ATX Today

The 2023 HVAC efficiency standards will have a wide impact on the not just the HVAC industry, but retro-fit and new build construction pricing, and commercial and residential property updates/upgrade pricing. If you’re ready to upgrade your air conditioning system, it’s wise to schedule the replacement for as soon as possible.

Phoenix Air ATX can help. Our HVAC technicians are happy to discuss makes and models with you to help find the best solution for your home. Remember though, you’ll only be able to upgrade your HVAC unit at 2022 pricing while supplies last. Contact us to schedule your replacement right away!