Beginning January 1, 2015 the minimum efficiency standard for A/C split systems increased from 13 SEER to 14 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) in most Southwest and Southern states. The minimum efficiency for heat pumps and package units increased to 14 SEER in all states.
There is an 18 month grace period to allow manufacturers to exhaust current supply of 13 SEER units. For the most part home warranty companies will continue with 13 SEER units until the supply is gone. Manufacturers are forecasting enough supply to last through the summer of 2015.
Also, with the continued elimination and eventual extinction of R-22 Freon, it is our belief that once the supply of 13 SEER units goes away, we will be looking at installing only R-410A units – the days of R-22 Freon systems will be gone and the cost of R-22 Freon will continue to rise.
Water Heater Efficiency Standards
Beginning April 16, 2015 the minimum efficiency standards for residential water heaters are increasing. The new standards will require nearly all electric, oil, gas and tankless gas water heaters to carry higher Energy Factor (EF) ratings. Both electric and gas water heaters will be broken down into two size categories. We estimate that less than 10% of the water heaters we service today are larger than 55 gallons.
Water Heaters over 55 gallons
Water heaters that are larger than 55 gallons will undergo the biggest changes. All residential gas models over 55 gallons must be of the condensing water heater type design. All residential electric models over 55 gallons must be of the hybrid electric heat pump water heater design.
Click here for more information from the Department of Energy.