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What’s New For HVAC/R In 2023?

With the new year in full swing, it’s never been a better time to check up on what’s happening this year in the HVAC Industry. In 2023, significant changes could impact your business depending on your HVAC equipment. Experts in the industry have several predictions based on new Federal guidelines that you need to know moving forward. In this blog we will dive into the new regulations and what you should know to prepare for the upcoming year.

The most significant change for the HVAC industry in 2023 comes from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), raising the efficiency requirements for new HVAC systems installed after the new year.  The new efficiency requirements are based on the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating system and are increasing in northern and southern states. For the north, the rating requirement is going from 13 to 14, while the southern states will see an increase from 14 to 15 SEER rating.

The DoE has also decided to start phasing down the production and import of the common refrigerant R-410A in favor of the newer, more efficient R-454B. A key piece of information about the implementation of R-454B is that older systems using refrigerants like R-410A cannot be converted or retrofitted to be compatible with R-454B, as the two refrigerants operate at different pressures and require specific equipment to reach and maintain those pressures. To start using the new refrigerant, you must replace your HVAC system entirely. While this seems alarming, there will still be enough older refrigerants on the market to last the lifespan of your current equipment so there is no need to replace properly functioning systems until they hit that 15 to 18-year mark and will be ready to be replaced anyway.

Although replacing your existing system presents a high up-front cost, as the demand for these newer HVAC systems rises, many experts expect the price of maintenance and replacement parts for older systems to rise along with it.  Combined with the fact that R-454B is more efficient than any of its predecessors, meaning it will cost less to produce the same amount of cooling, it may not be as expensive to replace the old system with a new R-454B HVAC system as it seems. Within a few years, the R-454B system will likely have paid for itself in energy consumption savings when you account for the inflated costs of maintaining older systems.

Experts in the industry are also expecting the high demand for new R-454B compatible systems to impact the price of those systems.  As we know, high demand will bring higher prices, especially for manufacturers.  If the prices are increasing at the top of the supply chain, installers and service providers will also have to raise their prices to cover the increased cost of parts and equipment.  What this means for business owners and homeowners is if you are in a position to possibly need a capital replacement within the next few years, the time to replace and upgrade is now.  The demand is going up due to the new Federal regulations, and if you want to avoid inflated pricing you will have to act fast.