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As we head into the fall and winter, it’s a good time to look at efficiency standards and the changes that will occur in 2023. You may have noticed that air conditioners no longer use the same refrigerant they did before and that there is federal legislation brought new industry standards. Here’s information about SEER2 ratings and new efficiency standards while also phasing out R410 refrigerants.

Minimum Efficiency

Every AC system has a tag with the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating shown on it. A higher SEER rating means that it will help you save on the energy you use to cool your home. Legislation changed the minimum standards needed for systems to reach each level.

When you look for air conditioning products, you’ll find that they have a minimum SEER of 14. The government now requires that all systems sold in specific states have this minimum amount because they want to help users save money. Florida is just one of the states that qualify.

The new standards implemented by the Department of Energy will raise the standard by one point or around seven percent. This will slightly increase the efficiency rating of ACs designed for Florida residents and sold in the state. This includes both split and packaged systems.

All systems will now feature a SEER2 rating, which ranges from 13.8 to 14.3 for split systems and 14.3 for systems with heat pumps. If you buy a packaged AC system, the rating should be 13.4 at the minimum. You can buy and have one installed with a higher rating to save more, too.

Installation Dates

The changes to the efficiency standards will affect those who plan to install an AC system soon. Though companies can still buy the older systems, they cannot install them in Pinellas County, FL after the end of the year. As of January first, companies can no longer sell air conditioning systems in Florida or other parts of the Southwest unless they meet the new standards and have a SEER2 rating on them.

This may also affect snowbirds and others who move from different parts of the country to Florida. You cannot install a system that you bought in another state. Though the government will allow companies in the Midwest and other regions to sell any remaining stock they have. December 31 of 2022 is the last day that those in Florida can either sell or install an older model system.

R410 Refrigerant Phase Out

One of the other big changes happening next year is the phase-out of R410 and similar refrigerants. Some of the refrigerants used in the past produced ions that contributed to the hole in the ozone layer. Though the government banned their use of them in the past, they now want to prevent future problems caused by hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants

Hydrofluorocarbon or HFC refrigerants generally do not cause damage to the ozone layer, but they do add to the problem of global warming. The American Innovation and Manufacturing Act called for companies to stop using HFCs and to look for alternatives.

While you can still use an AC system in your Pinellas County, FL home or buy one that uses R410, many brands now offer systems that use R454B or T32 refrigerants that are better for the environment and do not lead to global warming.

This will likely change some of the parts that ACs, especially the sensors that detect low refrigerant levels. When you need a new system, choose a company that understands the new changes for the Pinellas County, FL, area.

Whether you want to buy a new AC system now and have it installed before the end of the year or you plan to wait until the new standards go into effect, you will need help. Call Senica Air Conditioning to schedule your AC installation and to learn about the biggest changes coming in 2023, including phasing out R410 refrigerants and introducing SEER2 ratings for better efficiency.

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