Dear Valued Homeowner:
This is VERY important information about the heating and cooling system for your home and how it is affected by the new government regulations. We hope we are your trusted, go-to home service professional and as such you should expect us to keep you informed of any regulations or industry changes that affect you and your home.
Beginning January 1, 2023, the Department of Energy (DOE) is increasing the minimum efficiency standards (referred to as SEER2) for central air conditioners and heat pumps. These new standards make many of the current systems obsolete or non-compliant. The DOE has mandated that all residental systems installed on or after 1/1/2023 must meet the SEER2 testing requirements and display the Federal Trade Commission EnergyGuide label verifying the compliance with SEER2, EER2, HSPF2 ratings.
Beginning 1/1/2023, manufacturers are not allowed to manufacture non SEER2 compliant products, distributors are prohibited from selling non-compliant products and contractors (like us) are prohibited from installing non-compliant products. Inspectors for your local municipality are instructed to be on the lookout for non-compliant installs and have a DOE hot line to report any violations. If found, the contractor will be required to remove the equipment and replace it with new SEER2 equipment at no charge and then face possible fines and suspension of rights to do business.
Needless to say, we at Force Home Services will be in strict adherence to the new regulations as you would expect from a trusted contractor and service provider.
What does this mean for you, the homeowner?
- Don’t panic! Repair parts for your existing system will be available for at least 10 years down the road. This is the typical warranty period, and all manufacturers must supply repair parts during any warranty period. By the way, if you have one of our Forever Systems, the lifetime warranty still applies. If parts are unavailable for your system in 10 or 20 years, we simply replace the system not the part.
- Does this mean the price of a new, compliant system will cost more? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, quite a bit more. Covid shortages and inflation have increased the cost of current equipment significantly. With the new compliant product, all of our manufacturers have increased their price yet again by 15%-20%.
- Can I buy the old equipment at the old price before 1/1/2023 deadline? Yes and no. We, the contractor, are still allowed to install the old equipment right up until the end of 2022. Problem is there is not very much old equipment out there as the manufacturers cut back mid-year to make sure they did not get stuck with old equipment they would not be allowed to sell. At the time of this writing, we are out of most 4- and 5-ton outdoor units. We do however have access to heat pumps in these sizes and we could make your system a dual fuel or hybrid. This increases overall efficiency but would be best explained by one of our comfort specialists. A simple phone call.
- Do I have to replace my entire system including the furnace under the new regulations? No, this is specific to the AC or cooling portion of the system. The regulations read SEER2 match up of condenser and furnace coil (read evaporator coil). If your furnace has an advanced blower or an ECM then you will not need to replace the furnace. Warning! If you think you may need to replace your furnace this winter, make sure you buy a variable speed compliant furnace. It will not cost much more than a standard furnace and is guaranteed to be SEER2 compatible with your new AC that you buy years down the road.
- Thanks for the letter Ron but now I am totally confused. Who can I talk to? Well anyone at Force Home services would be happy to talk to you but you would be best served by talking to me or Drew. We are available anytime and are happy to give you some no-nonsense advice on this transition.
We are grateful for the trust you continue to place in us taking care of your HVAC and Plumbing needs. It does mean a lot to all of us at Force Home Services. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.