As technology changes, laws adapt to elevate HVAC installation expectations. The idea is that as new technology becomes available, installation guidelines change to ensure more efficient models are being installed in homes and businesses.
In January 2023, California furnace requirements changed. If you are looking to install a new furnace in your home, it will have to be up to the new rating standards. You can keep reading to learn more about the new California furnace requirements and what they mean for you when it’s time to install a new furnace.
What HVAC Requirements Changed?
All furnaces and air conditioners come with efficiency ratings to help you understand how effectively an HVAC unit uses energy. As a consumer, you can utilize these ratings to compare models to one another and make an educated decision.
These ratings are also in place to ensure that minimum efficiency requirements are met during installation. These minimums are what changed here in California. Requirements do not impact HVAC systems that are already in place. But if you are looking to upgrade your air conditioner or furnace, they will have to meet new minimum efficiency ratings.
There are three different ratings to consider. SEER is the rating system used for cooling capacity and it applies to both air conditioners and heat pumps that are set to cooling mode. SEER2 ratings replaced older SEER standards at the beginning of 2023. SEER2 is used to estimate cooling efficiency, and the ratings changed from 14 SEER to 14.3 SEER2. (The equivalent of a 14.3 SEER2 is a 15 SEER.)
Heat pumps have a SEER rating that measures its heating capacity and a second rating that is used to measure cooling capacity called HSPF. Like the SEER ratings, HSPF2 replaced older standards in 2023. Standards changed from 8.2 HSPF to 7.5 HSPF2 (the equivalent of an 8.8 HSPF).
Furnaces use a rating system called AFUE. These ratings are a little simpler to understand as they are based on percentages. The minimum AFUE rating moved up a single point from 80% to 81%. This means that a furnace must transfer 81% of all energy consumed into heat for your home. Higher efficiency ratings mean that more of the consumed energy translates directly into heat.
In the case of an AFUE rating of 81, that leaves 19% of the energy being lost during the heating process. A furnace is considered a high-efficiency model at 90%, leaving only 10% of the energy being lost. The less energy that gets lost during the heating process, the more money you save on your monthly energy costs over the life of the unit.
When to Upgrade Your Furnace
The US Department of Energy estimates that a 20-year old furnace is at most 78% efficient. Having an older furnace is costing you a lot on your monthly heating costs. Sure, investing in a new furnace is expensive. But you have to consider that the upgrade could help you slash your energy costs in half, it’s an investment well worth making. Plus, you’ll benefit from increased comfort and the peace of mind that your furnace has a long life ahead of it.
JMS Air Conditioning and Heating has your back. Call us today to schedule an appointment for new furnace installation in Glendale, CA!