New 2015 U.S. Department of Energy SEER Ratings

As of January 1, 2015, there are new regulations for heating and air conditioning equipment from the U.S. Department of Energy.

What’s new?
The US Department of Energy (DoE) has defined higher energy efficiency standards, which mandate that all residential heating and air conditioning units manufactured on or after January 1, 2015 have new minimum ratings for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). Under the new mandate, heat pump systems must carry a national required standard of 14 SEER. Air conditioner requirements vary by region. The DoE has defined three regions in the US: the north region will require 13 SEER units, the South region will require 14 SEER and the Southwest region will require 14 SEER and 12.2 Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) for 3.5 ton units and smaller and 14 SEER and 11.7 EER for 4 ton units and larger.

Residential Hot Water Heaters
The DoE also regulates the energy conservation standards for water heaters, and in conjunction with the

NAECA (National Appliance Energy Conservation Act), residential hot water heaters (electric, oil and tankless) are mandated to meet a higher Energy Factor (EF). To comply with these standards, new water heaters will be larger in size, approximately 2” wider and 2” taller.

Impact on Homeowners
Having more energy-efficient equipment in the home will save homeowners money in the long run. However, the cost to repair and replace heating and cooling units or water heaters will likely increase for the homeowner. For heating and air conditioning equipment, the important detail is “manufactured on or after January 1, 2015”. Heating and air conditioning equipment manufactured before this date may be installed (based on the previous standards), but when these supplies are no longer available in the marketplace, everyone must move to the new requirements.

What is the impact to Home Service Warranty (HMS) Customers?
HMS will continue to provide repair and replacement of units, and will follow the DoE guidelines for replacing units by region. Due to the size of the new units, there may be additional work required to retrofit these units into tight spaces. These space modifications are not typically addressed by home warranty companies and therefore contract holders may incur additional costs if space modifications are required in order to accommodate a new unit.

The cost of these additional upgrades may also lead to additional out of pocket expenses for homeowners. However, homeowners may elect to add the Premier Upgrade Package option (PUP) to their HMS Home Warranty, in order to help offset some of these non-covered charges associated with a covered repair or replacement.

Article courtesy of Sibcy Cline’spreferred preferred warranty partner, HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click

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