This year is a big one in the heating and cooling industry all over the country. Why? Because energy standards are changing for heating and cooling systems manufactured and sold to homeowners. It’s important for Omaha area residents to be aware of these changes implemented by the United States Department of Energy so you can be a more educated consumer. These changes may result in a slightly higher cost to purchase a system upfront, but the changes will also help cut costs when it comes to your monthly energy bill and overall maintenance costs. The rising standards mean heating and cooling systems on the market will be more efficient and reliable. The G-Force experts break down the new mandate changes to SEER ratings in our area to make it easier to digest and understand.
SEER Ratings and What They Mean
This technical jargon seems intimidating at first, but we’ll break it down for you. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It rates the energy efficiency of a heating and cooling system. The higher the number, the more energy efficient it is.
But how do you determine this number? You start by dividing the total number of BTUs (British thermal units) per hour by the total number of watts per hour. Both the BTUs and watts should be labeled on the heating and cooling system’s label or owner’s manual.
Here’s the equation scientists use: SEER Rating = BTUs/hr ÷ watts/hr
SEER Rating Standards Change for Heating & Cooling Systems
This year kicks off new SEER minimum rating requirements throughout every region of the country. This is nothing new, and changes tend to happen every several years, but this year’s changes are unique in the fact that it is the first time the federal government has varied these standards depending on the region of the country. SEER rating minimum requirements are being bumped up from 13 to 14 here in the Northern region of the country.
How This Affects You
The changes are a big deal because they change what homeowners can buy as well as what manufacturers and contractors can make and distribute on a large scale. All heating and cooling companies across the country and the region are aware of these changes and can assist you in your decision on what system is right for your home.
You will still be able to buy some systems with a lower SEER rating, as the DOE is allowing manufacturers to get rid of their supply of machinery that was manufactured before January 1st of this year. While this may save you a small portion of money up front, remember that systems with higher SEER ratings will save you more money on a monthly and annual basis when it comes to energy and upkeep costs. These more efficient systems also translate to less wasted energy and resources for our country as a whole. This helps the United States be less energy dependent, and helps to keep our environment healthier.
Our team at Getzschman Heating & Cooling is here if you have questions related the the SEER mandate changes, or if you are interested in upgrading to a more energy efficient heating and cooling system this year. Call us at 402-554-1110.