The main goal of heating and cooling systems is always the same: keeping your San Antonio home comfortable throughout the year. How heating and cooling systems accomplish this task, though, does change from time to time, and 2023 is no exception. If you’re in the market for a new HVAC system now or in the next few years, the new laws taking effect this year will have an impact on the type of system you buy. Here is more about what these changes mean for you.
All About Efficiency
It’s important to note that all of the new changes coming into effect are designed to help make your heating and cooling system more efficient and environmentally friendly. Since heating and cooling your home make up a significant portion of your overall energy costs, these changes will ultimately save you money in the long run. Over time, the Federal government has slowly increased the efficiency requirements for HVAC systems to help reduce the environmental impact of home comfort. As manufacturers continue to improve the technology that goes into HVAC systems, you can expect to see even more stringent efficiency requirements in the future.
New SEER Ratings for Air Conditioners
The SEER acronym stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This metric measures the amount of energy an air conditioner uses over the course of a cooling season to produce a specific cooling output. Higher SEER ratings mean that a system uses less energy to produce the same amount of cooling output. Prior to 2023, the minimum SEER rating for any air conditioner sold in the United States was 13. At the start of the new year, the minimum rating rose to 14. This higher rating represents an efficiency increase of approximately 7.2%. When you consider all of the new air conditioners that will be installed across the country this year, that adds up to some significant energy savings.
New Ratings for Heat Pumps
Another type of system that is seeing new efficiency requirements in 2023 is heat pumps. Heat pumps can both heat and cool your home by pulling heat energy from where it is to where it’s needed. In the summer, this means that a heat pump performs similarly to a standalone air conditioner. In the winter, a heat pump can extract heat energy from the outside air and transfer it into your home via the system’s refrigerant. Heat pump efficiency is measured using a metric called the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor measures how much electricity an air-source heat pump uses to produce a specific heating output. For 2023, the minimum Heating Seasonal Performance Factor that a new system can have is 8.8, up from a previous minimum of 8.2.
Air conditioners and heat pumps rely on refrigerant to keep your home comfortable. A refrigerant is a specially formulated liquid that has a low boiling point. Since it has a low boiling point, it’s easy to change the refrigerant from a liquid to a gas by manipulating the pressure that the refrigerant is under. Since a refrigerant line in an HVAC system is a closed-loop system, no ingredients in the refrigerant pose a threat to the environment when the HVAC system is in good condition.
Unfortunately, refrigerant lines can develop leaks that allow small amounts of the refrigerant to escape into the air. That’s why chemists are constantly looking for new and better refrigerant formulations to help protect the environment. The old standard refrigerant, R-410a, works well but contributes significantly to global warming when it escapes into the atmosphere. New refrigerant R-454b carries a much lower risk of trapping greenhouse gases, making it much safer to put in residential HVAC systems.
Working Hard to Keep You Informed
At Rosenberg Indoor Comfort, we believe that one of our responsibilities is to educate our customers about current HVAC technology. We also work hard to provide top-notch furnace maintenance, air conditioner repair, dehumidifier installation, and commercial ice machine and HVAC services. Since our founding, we have been working hard to take care of our customers with excellent service and fair prices. That’s why we have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. That’s also why we have earned an Angie’s List Super Service Award and consistently receive five-star customer reviews. To learn more about the latest HVAC developments, contact us at Rosenberg Indoor Comfort today.Tags: HVAC Tips