NAHB today sent a letter to the Department of Energy requesting the agency to extend its deadline to meet the installation of new residential central air‐conditioning and heat pump equipment Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) standards from Jan. 1, 2023, to July 1, 2023.
The extension request was made to provide the home building industry with adequate time to install HVAC equipment that is currently in compliance with SEER requirements but hasn’t yet been installed due to construction delays and supply chain issues.
"NAHB supports periodic, cost‐effective increases in minimum efficiency standards for equipment, however, the simultaneous deadlines for manufacturing and installing HVAC equipment before new efficiency standards are implemented create timing issues for builders across the country," the letter stated. "In new construction, HVAC equipment is typically installed in phases with the air handler, furnace, and fans being installed in the attic at rough‐in while the exterior condensing unit is installed just before closing, which is usually many months later.
"This timing issue is exacerbated by the nation’s ongoing supply chain crisis. Severe shortages of building materials—including HVAC equipment—have resulted in lengthy construction delays and postponement of projects, along with dramatic price increases. These unprecedented supply chain concerns make it almost impossible for builders to anticipate when they might be able to install exterior HVAC components."
The letter further stated that the supply chain crisis and subsequent construction delays have had a dramatic impact on costs for builders, home buyers, and renters.
"Extending the energy efficiency standards installation deadline for HVAC equipment by six months is a reasonable safeguard to avoid unnecessary delays and cost increases," NAHB told the DOE. "This extension will furthermore provide home builders with greater certainty regarding their construction plans at a time when many details and costs are outside of their control."