HVAC Refrigerant and SEER Changes in 2023
If so, you will want to read this first.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will raise the minimum efficiency requirements for central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps starting in 2023. Systems sold in the U.S. beginning January 1, 2023, must meet those minimum standards.
Additionally, in 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin phasing down the manufacture and importation of R-410a, a commonly-used refrigerant for residential cooling systems.
The two changes will create a new generation of HVAC systems designed to be more efficient and eco-friendly. But you’ll also pay more to enjoy these new features, a factor to consider if you plan to replace your equipment in the next few months.
What Is SEER and How Does it Impact HVAC Systems?
The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) measures cooling system efficiency. The higher the number, the better the efficiency.
Beginning next year, SEER ratings for AC units and heat pumps will increase from 13 to 14 in northern states and 14 to 15 SEER in the South and Southwest regions of the country.
In terms of heating efficiency, air-source heat pumps will increase from 8.2 to 8.8 HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor).
The increase in efficiency means you will use less electricity for the same amount of cooling. Your Broomfield home’s carbon footprint will shrink, and so will your utility bills. But you can expect manufacturers to increase prices to accommodate the new SEER ratings.
Is your cooling system more than eight years old and less than 15 SEER? Now is the perfect time to replace it before prices increase next year. Why keep outdated, obsolete equipment that will drive up your electric bills? Call Kappler Mechanical today for a free consultation and upfront pricing.
What Is SEER2?
SEER2 represents new testing standards for cooling systems beginning in 2023. The testing standards give consumers a more accurate picture of how an installed HVAC system will perform.
Similar to the changes in the SEER rating, these new testing standards do not impact your current system. But they will drive up purchase costs in the future. The new testing requirements mean any equipment the manufacturers produce must now adhere to SEER2 standards.
New Refrigerants in 2023
Since 2010, residential cooling systems have contained a refrigerant called R-410a, a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) that has high global warming potential and could harm the environment if it leaks from a cooling system.
For that reason, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is phasing down the manufacture and importation of HFCs by 85 percent over the next 15 years.
Beginning next year, new cooling systems will contain a refrigerant called R-454b with a lower global warming potential.
This refrigerant is more environment-friendly than its predecessors but also mildly flammable. You can rest assured our Kappler Mechanical technicians know how to handle it safely.
What If My Cooling System Uses R-410A?
Although R-410a will be available for equipment repairs over the next few decades, no new air conditioners or heat pumps will contain R-410a beginning in 2023.
You do not have to replace any equipment because of the new refrigerant changes.
A well-maintained AC system will last 15 to 20 years. If you need a new unit, buy it this year. There should be enough R-410a to last the life of your system, but the cost of replacing the refrigerant might creep up eventually if you need a repair.
Can I Retrofit My AC to Use R-454B?
No. Refrigerants operate at different pressures. An R-410a air conditioning or heat pump system will not be calibrated to use R-454b.
Even if you could retrofit your equipment to handle different refrigerants, the cost of doing so would likely approach the price of a new system. Plus, you would more than likely void your existing warranty.
You can save money immediately on utility bills by upgrading today to a high-efficiency system. Plus, you’ll pay less in purchasing costs. Otherwise, wait until 2023 to buy a system with the new refrigerant and SEER ratings. Our trained professionals can walk you through the pros and cons.
Call Your HVAC Experts Today
Our team at Kappler Mechanical looks forward to sharing new information about HVAC systems with all our customers in Broomfield, CO, and the surrounding areas. That includes changes to refrigerants and SEER ratings. Schedule a free consultation today—call us at 720-513-6481 or request service online.