DOE HVAC Standards: System Specifics and Future

DOE HVAC Standards: System Specifics and Future

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on US Department of Energy efficiency standards and regulations for various areas of the country. Depending on where you live, the technical requirements for your HVAC system will differ slightly from other regions of the US, and homeowners who are deeply involved with their HVAC upkeep will often need to know this information.

At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re proud to offer numerous HVAC services to help your system stay not only at peak efficiency, but also within full compliance with all DOE efficiency standards, including precision tune-ups and other maintenance themes along with services like heater replacement and more. Today’s part two of our series will lay out some of the specific regional standards for various heating and cooling systems, plus look at what the future holds in this area.

Split System AC Standards

For those who have a split system air conditioner in their home, there will be a special set of minimum efficiency standards that are set up by region. These use SEER rating, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, which we went over in part one.

The breakdown for regions goes as follows here:

  • North: Minimum 13 SEER rating
  • Southeast: Minimum 14 SEER rating
  • Southwest: Minimum 14 SEER rating

There are also some special guidelines here if your unit has a rated capacity under 45,000 Btu/h, so contact our team if you know this to be the case.

Heat Pumps and Other Central Air Types

For heat pumps and other forms of central air, guidelines will be the same for all regions of the country. In these cases, both SEER rating and HSPF may be used – the latter refers to Heating Seasonal Performance factor, a heat pump-specific metric that, when it’s high, shows your heat pump uses less electricity to heat the home.

Here are the basic minimum requirements for various such products:

  • Split-system heat pumps: 14 SEER rating, 8.2 HSPF
  • Split-package heat pumps: 14 SEER rating, 8.0 HSPF
  • Small-duct, high-velocity systems: 12 SEER rating, 7.2 HSPF
  • Space-constrained heat pumps: 12 SEER rating, 7.4 HSPF
  • Split-package air conditioners: 14 SEER rating
  • Space-constrained air conditioners: 12 SEER rating

Future Requirements

As a country, the US is moving toward even stricter energy requirements in the near future as we push for more sustainable forms of heating and cooling. Starting in 2023, all new residential central AC and air-source systems will have to meet higher standards, including minimum 14 SEER ratings across the board and minimum 15 SEER ratings in the southern parts of the country. There will also be increases to minimum HSPF standards for those who use heat pump systems.

For more on the DOE’s energy requirements for HVAC systems, or to learn about any of our HVAC contractor services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.