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Local HVAC company encourages customers to buy AC units now


Thomas HVAC Company encourages people to buy AC units now before 2023 when the US Department of Energy requires a higher SEER unit.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Every six years, the US Department of Energy reassesses the energy efficiency of household appliances and systems.

Starting next year, the DOE is imposing new energy conservation standards that could affect things like your HVAC system.

Stephen Rice of Thomas HVAC Company shares some changes that could affect your wallet: “Coming January 1st, the new normal will be that you will basically buy a SEER 15 or SEER 16 system, which is the equivalent to today’s 14 .”

It shares the Department of Energy announced that they will require all newly installed HVAC systems in the South to be at least 15-SEER or 14.3 SEER-2.

“SEER” stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio”, which means that a higher SEER number will have a more efficient unit.

But greater efficiency comes at a cost, “our vendors are basically telling us a 25% to 40% increase in new equipment costs,” Rice said.

So, as the SEER number increases, the cost of these units will be much higher.

However, higher efficiency could lower your overall utility bill.

A 16-SEER unit operates 13% more efficiently than a 14-SEER unit.

So for every $100 you spend with a 14 SEER unit, you could save $13 with a 16 SEER unit.

Right now, if your unit is old, Rice urges you to purchase the current 2022 standard, a 14 SEER unit, before the new year.

“We don’t recommend anyone replace their device if it’s two or four years old. But if your device is a bit older, now would probably be a good time because you’ll definitely save money buying it now between now and on January 1, because after January 1 these prices will increase.”

Any HVAC system installed next year and after will be 15-SEER or higher.

And while these new standard units will be more expensive next year and Rice recommends buying a unit before then, companies may have financing options available if you choose to buy in 2023.

And the Inflation Reduction Act can give families discounts if they buy a heat pump.

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