New energy efficiency standards for furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and other HVAC appliances will soon come into force. Some of the jargon used to discuss the new standards can be confusing. Here are some useful energy-efficiency terms to know when trying to interpret information on the upcoming changes.
- SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
How efficiently air conditioners and heat pumps cool your home.
- AFUE (Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency)
The measure of efficiency, in percent, of gas and oil-fired furnaces.
- HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor)
The heating efficiency measurement for heat pumps.
If you’re not directly involved with the manufacture, sale or installation of HVAC appliances and systems, you might be forgiven for having missed the intense dispute over new HVAC efficiency standards.
The new standards specify required minimum energy efficiency levels for new appliances. These standards have both federal and regional elements; for the purposes of the DOE, Kansas forms part of the North region. The first wave of new standards will start to come into effect from Jan. 1, 2015.
- For split-system central air conditioners, regional standard in the North (including Kansas) will stay at 13 SEER.
- For single-package air conditioners, the regional standard will be 14 SEER.
- New national efficiency standards will come into play for all types of heat pumps. The standards differ for each type of pump.
- New national efficiency standards will also come into play for all types of furnace, except for mobile home furnaces. The standards differ for each type of furnace.
Further new national energy-efficiency standards for furnaces are in the pipeline, but will probably not come into effect until 2021-2022.
If your household’s HVAC equipment doesn’t meet these standards, you will eventually need to upgrade your air conditioner, furnace or other HVAC appliances. You may be able to claim tax credits to help you with the cost.
To find out more about how HVAC efficiency standards will affect households in Kansas, or to learn more about other HVAC topics, contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling, Inc. today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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