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DOE Mandates Energy Efficient Cooling Systems

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Although many homeowners want their cooling systems to be energy efficient, they are not quite certain how to ensure it. Now there's help: The U.S. Department of Energy will require all new, central air conditioners manufactured after January 23, 2006, to have a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of at least 13 SEER. That is 30 percent higher than the current minimum standard.

SEER is a measure of cooling efficiency for air conditioning products. The higher the SEER rating number, the more energy efficient the unit is and the more money you will save on your utility bills.

"The 13 SEER standard is an important step in curbing electricity consumption during peak demand periods. It will help ease the strain on the supply and availability of electric power, while helping homeowners to reduce their energy costs," notes Tom Huntington, president of York Unitary Products Group, a leading manufacturer of home cooling and heating systems.


York has already taken steps to develop energy efficient and environmentally friendly cooling systems with the Affinity™ series of air conditioners now available up to 15 SEER. These systems offer two-stage operation, use environmentally responsible R-410 refrigerant (containing no chlorine) and are Energy Star® qualified.

In addition to the energy and environmental benefits of the Affinity series, the units are also stylish and quiet. Designed to blend in with a home's exterior, the Affinity Series comes standard in champagne color with the choice of six additional designer exterior colors-an industry first-to complement consumers' homes, landscaping and lifestyles.

A high efficiency, remarkably quiet two-stage compressor is isolated behind an advanced composite material that absorbs sound, and an advanced fan design results in smoother airflow and extremely low sound ratings.

To improve energy efficiency, the experts at York offer these basic tips:

  • Have your heating/cooling (HVAC) system maintained twice a year by a licensed, qualified, professional dealer.
  • If you are purchasing a new HVAC system, look for the Energy Star label to get the highest efficiency available in the market.
  • Do not block supply and return vents.
  • Change filters regularly.
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