Big news in 2015 for the HVAC industry! Have you heard!? There’s a new Seer minimum in place! Okay, let’s be honest, unless you’re in the HVAC industry working with this every day, this is likely not very exciting news. There’s a pretty good possibility that you haven’t even heard about it! We’re here to explain what the new minimum is, what it means and how it affects you.
A Seer rating is an energy efficiency rating on air conditioners and heat pumps. At the end of 2014, the minimum Seer rating was 13 seer. The new minimums affect some parts of the United States differently than others. For these purposes, the U.S has been divided into a North Region, South Region and Southwest Region. Since we’re located in Indianapolis, we’ll focus on the change in Indiana, which is in the North Region.
What is the new minimum? Effective 01/01/2015, the new minimum seer rating for heat pumps has changed from 13 seer to 14 seer. For now, air conditioners are staying the same at 13 seer.
What does this mean? 13 seer heat pumps are no longer being manufactured. When you are ready to replace your current heat pump, you’ll likely be quoted at least a 14 seer. A 14 seer heat pump will come at a higher initial cost than a 13 seer heat pump but there’s also more energy savings with a 14 seer.
Can I still get a 13 seer heat pump? For awhile, there will be 13 seer heat pumps that were manufactured in 2014 or before that are still available. The entire U.S. has moved to a minimum 14 seer heat pump rating, so once those 13 seers that were manufactured in previous years are gone, they’re gone.
Does this affect me now? We saw an advertisement recently in which the message was implying that everyone had to replace their heat pumps now to adhere to the new standards. This is simply not true. The new standards are for new equipment going forward. The new standard does not say you have to upgrade right now! It’s not illegal to currently have a 13 seer heat pump installed in your home. It just means that when it’s time for new equipment, 14 seer is the minimum.
Does this affect me if I have an air conditioner? No, it does not! The new standard in Indiana is for heat pumps only. Eventually, yes, air conditioners will also move to a minimum 14 seer rating but it’s not happening this year in Indiana or any of the North Region. In other states (the South and Southwest Regions), the minimum has already changed for both air conditioners and heat pumps.
We hope this helps to answer your questions about the new minimum seer ratings!