If you’re a business or homeowner, then HVAC regulations for 2023 should be on your radar. With energy prices and environmental standards rising across the board, it’s increasingly important to stay up-to-date with all of the latest rules and guidelines that are set in place.
Whether you’re considering a new installation or just trying to keep your current system compliant, our guide will help ensure that you have all the information you need. Read on to get informed and prepared for what may come.
For more about new HVAC regulations (particularly the new SEER 2 standard and what it will mean for homeowners), learn more here.
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New AC refrigerant regulations
By 2025, the Environmental Protection Agency is slated to shift regulations towards refrigerants of A2L class due to their lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) compared with other alternatives. While these refrigerants are indeed beneficial for our environment, they do come with a risk: low flammability.
To prepare for A2L compliance, HVAC manufacturers are shifting towards technology specifically designed to handle refrigerants with A2L, with units that include an emergency shutoff feature to help maintain safety in case of a hazardous leak.
This follows a shift to the eco-friendly R-410 (Puron) refrigerant that was recently made in the industry as a replacement for R-22 (Freon). This decision was based on its safety and minimal harm to the environment.
New SEER 2 regulations
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a metric that reflects an air conditioner’s cooling power in comparison to the electricity it uses. A higher SEER rating indicates a more efficient AC unit, requiring less energy and ultimately resulting in lower monthly bills.
In 2023, it will become mandatory for all HVAC equipment to prominently display their SEER 2 rating on the packaging. This shift in regulation won’t have much of an effect on buyers, apart from providing them with a more accurate idea of the energy consumption they could expect when purchasing new heating and cooling systems.
Additionally, come January 1, 2023, you’ll need to be prepared for two changes concerning SEER ratings. Specifically, the minimum rating of HVAC equipment will grow significantly.
At the moment, air conditioners in southern states require the minimum SEER value to be 14, whereas those installed in northern states must have a SEER rating of at least 13. However, come 2023, these criteria will shift to 14 and 15 respectively.
To ensure the accuracy of energy efficiency rating, the industry will adopt a new standard: SEER 2. Not too different from its predecessor, this system measures how much heat is removed from an area versus how much energy it consumes during use. The testing conditions have been reformulated to more accurately reflect everyday usage scenarios.
How to prepare for these changes in regulation
Although these industry regulations are significant, homeowners won’t need to invest in a new HVAC system if their current one is adequately satisfying heating and cooling needs.
The only thing to remember is that regular maintenance is essential for optimal efficiency. Maintenance should be performed by a professional twice per year—ideally, once in the springtime and then again in the fall.
Of course, as your HVAC system gets older, it’ll likely become difficult to obtain replacement parts that are compatible since manufacturers only carry items that follow new regulations. Only when your HVAC equipment has gotten to the end of its lifespan or the cost of repairing it is more than a replacement would it be time to get a new system that meets new standards.
The long-term benefits of these new regulations
Rising temperatures worldwide caused by climate change means more reliance than ever on our HVAC systems in order to remain comfortable.
This is why new environmentally-conscious approaches and technologies are crucial, as global warming is likely to continue to worsen at an alarming rate. After all, operating HVAC equipment is power-intensive, and excess energy usage can lead to further carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to the growing problem of global warming.
These upcoming 2023 HVAC regulations place emphasis on energy-efficient and green products, which will be beneficial in the long run for the environment and for homeowners in terms of reducing their energy bills.
The HVAC industry is seeing a shift towards environmentally-friendly alternatives, and 2023 will bring some significant changes to the way we buy, maintain, and use our units.
We hope this guide was helpful in providing an overview of the HVAC regulations set for 2023 and how you can best prepare for them. By understanding the regulations and taking the necessary steps to maintain your HVAC system, you can enjoy a comfortable home that’s also energy efficient and compliant with new standards.