Maintenance Minute Update by Christine
As you may know, it is becoming increasingly difficult (and considerably more expensive) to locate R-22 and cooling units that require it. As of January 1, 2015, the EPA limited the production of R-22 to twenty-two million pounds, down from the allowed 51 million pounds in 2014.
With this new regulation came changes to the SEER ratings*. What is unique about the new efficiency standards is the allowance for different standards across the country rather than a national standard. This regulation will apply to all equipment, whether it is being installed in an existing structure, as a system replacement or in a new structure. Below is a guide for each of the regions new standards in 2015.
• Northern States (AK, CO, CT, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, ME, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, SD, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY): Minimum 13 SEER for air conditioning
• Southern (Southeastern) States(AL, AR, DC, DE, FL, DA, HI, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA): Minimum efficiency of 14 SEER for air conditioning
• Southwestern States (AZ, CA, NV, NM): Minimum efficiency of 14 SEER for air conditioning but also a new standard for EER that will call for 12.2 EER for systems less than 45,000 BTUH and 11.7 EER for systems over 45,000 BTUH.
• National Standard: Heat pumps require 14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF
The combination of the reduced production of R-22 and the increased SEER rating has made replacing HVAC systems with R-22 equipment challenging. While you may still be able find the equipment, it is of importance to note that by 2020 the production of R-22 will be completely phased out.
For more information on how these changes to the EPA regulations affect you, speak to your supplier.\
*Seer rating map courtesy of S.G. Torrice Company
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