Let’s face it – AC systems are expensive to repair and replace but they are about to get more expensive under the new Biden Administration rules.
New Efficiency Standards
The Department of Energy (DOE), under the direction of the Biden Administration, just finalized energy efficiency standards for home air conditioning units including window and portable air cleaners. The rules will take effect in 2026. The goal is to cut air pollution and increase energy efficiency. This rule follows similar regulations on other home appliances such as gas stoves, ovens, clothes washers, and refrigerators. While this may sound like a good goal, the appliance and HVAC industry is citing these rules to enforce a level of efficiency that doesn’t make technological or monetary sense.
We already know the regulatory demands on clothes washers are a complete failure. Clothes are not as clean and any potential energy savings disappeared with the increased cost of the washer. Have you priced a washing machine lately?
The USEPA is now limiting supplies of AC refrigerants to force consumers into buying newer, more “energy efficient” AC systems. Refrigerants on new AC units cost over $100/pound and could double by next year. Furthermore, the USEPA is proposing to outlaw “affordable” AC systems by 2025 (you know, the $4,500 systems).
Sadly, the residential AC manufacturers are supporting these regulations because “they will make more money”. If you are thinking, “I’ll just keep repairing the old unit”, I have bad news for you – you won’t be able to buy refrigerant or parts.
These new regulations will have a severe impact on low-income households who may not be able to replace systems. This, in turn, will result in people going without air conditioning or heating. Aside from the obvious health concerns of living in 90-degree Fahrenheit homes, there is also the problem that our modern homes can’t tolerate extreme heat and moisture conditions. Our homes will begin to rot from excess moisture, and they will develop mold growth and become conducive environments to wood-destroying organisms and insects.
These new, energy-efficient, HVAC systems will also be extremely expensive to repair, and industry insiders are predicting a lower life expectancy on these units. You will have to replace them sooner than with the current models. We already know this to be the case with other appliances. Just look at refrigerators which used to last 20 years and now we are lucky to get three years on a $2,500 refrigerator.
If you are buying a resale home and the AC system is over 75% obsolete, you should understand a replacement unit may cost $10,000 or more under the new regulations. I doubt any American will ever see a penny saved with these new “efficiency” standards.
Let’s not forget one other important thing to consider about “energy efficiency”. As people consume less energy, the cost per unit of energy goes up. While we may be consuming less energy, our costs increase. Utility companies are guaranteed a profit, by law.
The bottom line is, Americans will pay more for air conditioning and heat. Based on these new regulations, homeowners should budget $1,400 per year for the maintenance and replacement of each unit serving their home.
Inspecting Your Energy Efficiency
Ensure your HVAC system is running properly with an inspection from Property360! We are your local expert for home inspections, commercial property condition assessments, mold inspections, forensic moisture investigations, and so much more. Contact us at (904) 606-1570 or request an inspection online today!