National heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, or HVAC, codes include Standard 62.1-2013, “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality,” Standard 90.1-2013, “Energy Standards for Buildings” and Standard 189.1-2014, “Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings,” published by the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE, the national standards-writing association for the HVAC industry. Some new regulations exist as of January 1, 2015, calling for increased energy efficiency of installed HVAC equipment, states The News, an HVAC industry magazine.
There are regional differences in minimum efficiency standards, as of 2015, informs the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration's magazine, The News. The United States are split into three regions for the purposes of these energy regulations: Northern, South-eastern and South-western. The requirement of a minimum 14 SEER rating, instead of 13, and an 8.2 Heating Seasonal Performance factor, or HSP, instead of 7.7, for all split-system heat pumps in North Carolina, for example, is a big change, reports the Homebuilders Association of Fayetteville.
The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute set SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, ratings in its standard AHRI 210/240, “Performance Rating of Unitary Air-Conditioning and Air-Source Heat Pump Equipment,” of 2008, according to Wikipedia. For an air conditioner, for example, SEER is the ratio of cooling in British thermal units, or BTUs, to the energy the unit uses in watt-hours, explains Wikipedia.