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Purchasing an AC unit before 2023 could save you money

Thomas HVAC Company encourages people to purchase AC units now before 2023 when the US Department of Energy requires a higher SEER unit.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Every six years the United States Department of Energy re-evaluates energy efficiency of home appliances and systems.     

Beginning next year, the DOE is mandating new energy conservation standards which could affects things like your HVAC system. 

Stephen Rice, with Thomas HVAC Company, shares there are some changes happening that could affect your wallet, "January 1, the new standard is going to be you're essentially going to buy a SEER 15 or a SEER 16 system, which is the equivalent to today's 14."

He shares the Department of Energy announced they will be requiring all newly installed HVAC systems in the South to be at least a 15-SEER or 14.3 SEER-2.

"SEER" stands for "Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio" which means a higher SEER number, will have a more efficient unit.

But a higher efficiency comes at a cost, "our suppliers are telling us basically a 25% to 40% increase in new equipment costs," Rice said.

So, as the SEER number increases, the cost of these units will be much higher.

Although, a higher efficiency, could lower your overall utility bill.

A 16-SEER unit runs 13% more efficient than a 14-SEER unit. 

So, for every $100 you spend with a 14-SEER unit, you could save $13 with a 16-SEER unit.

Right now if your unit is old, Rice urges you to buy the current 2022 standard, a 14-SEER unit, before the new year.

"We're not recommending anyone replace their unit if it's like two years old or four years old. But if your unit's a little bit older, it would probably be a good time because you're definitely going to save money buying it now between now and January 1, because after January 1, those prices will increase."

Any HVAC system installed next year and after will be at 15-SEER or more. 

And although these new standard units will be more expensive next year and Rice recommends purchasing a unit before then, companies may have financing options available if you do choose to purchase in 2023

And the Inflation Reduction Act may provide families with rebates if they purchase a heat pump.

RELATED: Struggling to pay your utility bill? Resources are available to help.

RELATED: Garrison & Garrison encourage residents to check their heaters sooner rather than later

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