A group of U.S. manufacturers of central air conditioners, furnaces and heat pumps has signed an agreement with a number of the nation’s largest energy efficiency advocacy groups to establish new federal standards for these products, according to the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).
The agreement was signed by AHRI and the following organizations:
Under the agreement, the U.S. is divided into three regions, each with its own energy efficiency standards, to account for climate differences among them.
For example, in the North, most furnaces will by required to have an efficiency of 90% or more, essentially requiring condensing furnaces, according to a joint news release from the participating organizations. This is an improvement from the current national standard of 78%.
In the South, central air conditioners will be required to have a SEER of 14, up from the present national requirement of SEER 13.
The standards for heat pumps and oil furnaces will rise on a national basis.
The standards apply to residential single-phase air conditioners and heat pumps of less than 65,-000 BTU/h cooling capacity, and single-phase weatherized and non-weatherized forced-air furnaces of below 225,000 BTU/h heat input.