Recent legislation on the federal level has enacted several money-saving laws that affect HVAC operation at the consumer level. The driving force behind the legislation ranges from safeguarding the environment to ensuring more effective cooling and heating in your home. However, they can also enhance AC and furnace efficiency, which typically lowers monthly HVAC costs. Here’s a summary of how these changes can affect your indoor comfort and your monthly budget.

Refrigerant Changes

Refrigerant circulating in your AC system extracts indoor heat and disperses it outdoors. On Jan. 1, the Environmental Protection Agency permanently banned the sale of R-22 refrigerant, the standard type utilized in air conditioners for many years. This gradual phaseout began several years ago and was motivated by concerns about R-22’s effect on the Earth’s ozone layer.

The new replacement for R-22 is ozone-friendly R-410A. Homeowners who still utilize older R-22 air conditioners will eventually have to upgrade to R-410A units when their existing AC requires replacement. Upgrading provides several benefits:

  • R-410A extracts heat more efficiently, reducing monthly cooling expenses.
  • If an R-410A unit requires a refrigerant recharge, the cost is lower than that for an old R-22 variety.
  • AC units that utilize R-410A typically incorporate more advanced technology, as well as convenience options.
  • Components incorporated in R-410A units are generally more durable and provide longer expected service life, so repair expenses are fewer and less expensive.

Fan Upgrades

As an electric device, your HVAC fan is a contributor to HVAC operating costs. The standard blower motor was a permanent split capacitor (PSC) type that runs at only one speed. Legislated changes now limit HVAC-fan electric consumption, saving money in two ways:

  • New Electronically Commutated Motors (ECM) now consume far less energy than PSC units and reduce monthly HVAC expenses.
  • ECM fans also run at variable RPM speeds and are controllable by the HVAC unit, fine-tuning air circulation to more precisely meet temperature settings.

For more about money-saving laws that affect home cooling and heating, contact the professionals at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.