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Why, By Law, Your New AC Must Be a 13 SEER

Posted on June 10, 2016 by Chris Lancaster

SEER Ratings on ACs PicAs a homeowner, you may or may not have heard of a SEER rating. It is a term used in the heating and cooling industry to describe the energy efficiency of an air conditioning unit. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.

The government has mandated that only air conditioners with a rating of 13 SEER or higher can be installed. The experts at Lancaster Heating and Cooling break down the basics of this law and help you understand exactly why it was created and how it affects you.

Air Conditioners Are Becoming More Energy Efficient by Law

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is a building code adopted by many states and municipal governments in the United States for the establishment of minimum design and construction requirements for energy efficiency.

In 2009, the United States adopted the code and created legislation to set into motion a long-term plan to control the manufacturing and installation of more energy efficient equipment. The IECC agreement follows a series of upgrades in equipment that will continue until 2030.

When Did This Legislation Take Effect?

From 2006 to 2014, all states have been required to install only 13 SEER units or better. Since 2015, southeastern and southwestern regions are required to have a 14 SEER minimum for air conditioners. Here in the Midwest, our minimum is still 13 SEER for air conditioners.

Older Air Conditioners Are Grandfathered In

Don’t worry if your existing air conditioner isn’t 13 SEER. All current units are grandfathered in, and the new law doesn’t apply. Only newly installed units must meet the minimum requirements. Upgrades are not necessary for units that are already installed.

SEER Ratings Are Good for Consumers & the Environment

More energy efficient units are good news for everyone. They mean that less energy from sources such as electricity and natural gas are being used. Not only is it better for the environment, it’s good for homeowners too because monthly energy bills will be reduced. Plus, it lessens the likelihood of power outages due to overconsumption.

Related Read: Geothermal Savings for Homeowners

If you need help with any air conditioning or heating equipment, from repairs to replacements, you can count on the team at Lancaster Brothers Heating and Cooling. For more helpful information, visit the Lancaster blog or call us at (913) 851-3399.


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