New Air Conditioner Efficiency Standards Take Effect in January

December 7, 2005

Starting next year, U.S. consumers who buy new houses or upgrade their cooling systems could benefit from new, tougher energy efficiency standards for central air conditioners. Units manufactured after January 23rd, 2006, will have to achieve a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) of 13, a 30 percent improvement over current standards. The new standards are expected to save consumers $1 billion over the next 25 years. In addition, the 2006 standards will raise the energy efficiency standards for new central heat pumps to a SEER of 13 in cooling mode and a Heating Season Performance Factor of 7.7, which represents a 13 percent improvement in heating efficiency. The new standard will also increase the cooling efficiency of single-package air conditioners and single-package heat pumps by 34 percent while increasing the heating efficiency of single-package heat pumps by 17 percent. For more information, see the announcement on the Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, a DOE Web site.

Appliance efficiency standards are developed by DOE's Appliances and Commercial Equipment Standards Program, part of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. See the new standards on the program's Web site.