2015 HVAC Efficiency Standards



2015 means a new year, new business, new customers, new goals, but for the HVAC industry it also means new minimum efficiency standards for both the residential and commercial systems. All new HVAC systems installed after January 1 will have to adhere to these new standards. See how this affects you.


All things are not created equal

If you feel like you’re not up to date with all the new minimum requirements, you’re not alone. Recent surveys show that as much as 75 percent of all HVAC contractors are not aware of the new requirements, and for the first time these new standards will not be uniform across the nation.

This means you need to know your region. This time around, the US is going to be broken up into 3 major regions: North, South, and Southwest. To make sure you meet the new requirements, you must familiarize yourself with your own region. If you work in multi-region zones, that just means more homework for you.


Expected to be affected more than the others is the North region, which includes Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Maryland and Delaware will be designated in the South region. If you live in Cincinnati but also do work in Kentucky (as most do), that means studying up on two regions as well.

New standards

Under the new guidelines, contractors will be required to more carefully calibrate residential indoor systems with outdoor ones. Outdoor system’s SEER rating will now depend upon the indoor system with which it is connected. What this means is that the outdoor system’s rating will now be tied in more closely to the indoor’s. An outdoor SEER rating of 14 may no longer mean the same overall rating.

Who will be watching?

So who exactly will be enforcing these new standards? The truth is that Congress has yet to say what role the DOE and the EPA will have as far as enforcement, but for now it’s a good idea to believe that contractors will be on the honor system.

Beginning next year, contractors may be required to produce detailed records for distributors, and make sure they are in compliance. For now, it would be a good idea to keep your records in order, just in case.

If you still have question, it’s a good idea to contact the Air Conditioning, heating and Refrigeration Institute.

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