In order to reduce overall energy consumption across the country, every six years, the United States Department of Energy reviews the average energy use of certain home appliances and mechanical systems. If their review determines that an increase in energy efficiency requirements is needed to achieve this goal, then stricter requirements are put into place.
On January 1, 2023, the Department of Energy’s new minimum efficiency standards will go into effect. This means changes to manufacturing standards and testing of HVAC equipment across the industry. Some changes include the following:
The minimum efficiencies for all new split air conditioners, heat pumps, packaged units, and ductless systems will change to become more energy efficient and therefore more environmentally friendly.
A more rigorous testing standard (known as the ‘M1 Standard’) will produce new more stringent efficiency rating metrics. The M1 Standard increases the external static pressure at which efficiency ratings are calculated by up to five times the static pressures used in today’s current testing procedure. This effectively reduces the rated efficiency of all equipment used for both heating and cooling. In addition, the heating load line has been redefined under this new standard. The new load line will favor variable speed systems, and will therefore have a larger negative impact on one stage and two stage heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) ratings. The ratings created by the new M1 Standard will receive new naming designations – SEER2, EER2, and HSPF2 – to distinguish them from current SEER, EER, and HSPF.
You are probably asking yourself, what does all this mean for HVAC installers and customers? It means making some adjustments and staying in communication with one another. It also means understanding the guidelines we all have to work within and managing expectations. Split air conditioners that do not meet the new 2023 M1 Standards will not be allowed to be installed on or after January 1, 2023. However, split heat pumps and single-packaged HVAC products manufactured prior to January 1, 2023, may still be installed after that date.
These changes may present some new complexities, but we are committed to working in compliance for you, our treasured customers, as well as to do our part to conserve energy for a better future.