The Department of Energy (DOE) measures efficiency in numbers called SEER ratings (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). For several years, the minimum efficiency standard for newly-manufactured HVAC equipment has been 10 SEER. On January 23, 2006, the law will require manufactures to stop producing anything less than a 13 SEER.
The 13 SEER minimum requirements will impact everyone: consumers, HVAC dealers, and manufacturers of air conditioners and heat pumps. The industry anticipates price changes for equipment, installation and delivery, among other possibilities.
Complying with 13 SEER may mean spending more upfront, but the energy savings add up to smaller energy bills going forward. Once your home is 13 SEER efficient, itís likely youíll see real savings on your monthly utility bill. Actual savings will depend on the age, efficiency, and condition of the unit the 13 SEER system replaces.