HVAC Federal Regulations
The main objective of the Regional Efficiency Standards is to make sure that more efficient HVAC systems are installed across the country, thereby making the U.S. less dependent on fossil fuel and other energy sources. Under this five-part agreement, the U.S. is divided into three regions: the North, the South (AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, HI, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, DC), and the Southwest (CA, NV, AZ, NM).
For the very first time, each region has its own unique minimum federal efficiency standards for air conditioners, and there is a new national standard for heat pumps.
According to the Department of Energy document outlining the new regulations, “Federal Regional Standards for cooling equipment will go into effect as planned on January 1, 2015. All air conditioners (A/C) and heat pumps (H/P) (split system and packaged) manufactured after December 31, 2014 must comply with these Federal Regional Standards.
The Federal Regional Standards for air conditioners sold in the south and the southwest are based on the date of installation; however, the industry will have an 18 month sell-through or grace period (starting on 1-1-2015). Original equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers will be allowed to buy, sell, ship and/or install non-compliant products (13 SEER) during this period as long as they are manufactured prior to January 1, 2015.
Split system and packaged heat pumps are not subject to the 18 month sell-through or grace period, as the standard applied is based on the date of manufacture. Split system and packaged heat pumps manufactured before January 1, 2015 can be sold after January 1, 2015 for as long as inventory exists.”
For more information, visit the Department of Energy’s page on Residential Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps.