As of January of 2006 the federal government raised the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) from 10 to 13 SEER on all air conditioning units. What this means is that manufacturers must manufacture air conditioning units at the higher efficiency rating of 13 SEER after January 23rd of 2006. The hope is that this new efficiency mandate will lower the energy consumption demand on production facilities which in turn will lower the pollution produced.
Some Issues to be aware of:
This new law simply means manufacturers have to produce air conditioning units at 13 SEER or higher. Units produced before the January 23rd 2006 at a lower SEER rating can still be sold and installed legally.
The new 13 SEER law does not prevent manufacturers from manufacturing parts for the older air conditioning units. Parts for older units should be available for many years into the future. The new 13 SEER law does not require home warranties or service contractors to replace failed older 10, 11, or 12 SEER units if they can be repaired or replaced with existing parts or similar SEER ratio units.
Companies and homeowners can still repair their existing air conditioning equipment even though it may not be a 13 SEER unit. You may even replace your older 10, 11, or 12 SEER with similar rated unit until the new lower SEER units become unavailable.
What is the Impact of this new SEER law:
Although this new law does not require home warranty companies to upgrade lower SEER units, when replacement is necessary it could cost over 50% more for the newer 13 SEER units.
The new 13 SEER ac units are larger and may require significant modifications when replacing an older ac unit. ORA does not cover these modifications and are the responsibility of the homeowner.
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