Big changes are coming to the HVAC industry in 2023, and we want all Pensacola area landlords to be prepared for this. If your property has an older heating and cooling system that has reached its useful life, now is the time to evaluate your air conditioning system and consider replacement before the new year.
With the country transitioning to a more environmentally friendly way of life, new regulations are being implemented. One of the more significant changes that could affect you as a Pensacola homeowner or landlord, is related new energy efficiency requirements for the heating and cooling system of your property. As of January 1, 2023, the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating requirement for heating and cooling units has changed from 13 in Northern states and 14 in Southern states, to 14 in Northern states and 15 in Southern states. These changes will have a significant impact on the pricing of HVAC units moving forward. Most people are estimating a cost increase of 30% for HVAC systems beginning next year.
In Pensacola, nearly all homes are heated and cooled by a central heat and air system consisting of an indoor air handler and an outdoor compressor. Unfortunately, the new changes also mean if one of the units needs to be replaced, then both will likely need to be replaced. As of now, the average cost we see for a new HVAC system in the Pensacola area is around $5,500. A 30% increase brings this figure to over $7,000. Air conditioning technicians foresee another issue arising because of the physical size of the new equipment. The new, energy efficient units are larger, and therefore may not fit the size allocated for current interior air conditioning equipment. Many interior air conditioning units are placed in a closet with little space to spare. In many of our multifamily units, these closets also include lowboy water heaters. We are anticipating these issues will arise over the coming years.
Beyond next year, officials have their eyes on another set of regulations by 2025. The EPA is looking to require the transition from one refrigerant commonly found in HVAC systems, to a new A2L refrigerant, which has a lower global warming potential. Because of these upcoming changes, we suggest that any unit over 15 years old be assessed and, if possible, replaced. By taking this action now, you can save significant expenses in the coming years.