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New (DOE)Regulatory requirements for HVAC systems starting 1.1.23



Here at Cochran Complete Services, our team is committed to staying up to date on the latest trends, advancements, and regulations in the HVAC industry to ensure you receive the premium-quality service you deserve.

Every six years, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) reviews how much energy certain home appliances and mechanical systems use and determines if an increase in energy efficiency requirements is justified.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has recently released new regulatory requirements for split systems and packaged units. Cochran Complete Services is here to help you better understand the changes to come and keep you informed on how our team is adapting and innovating to adhere to the latest requirements.



Reducing Energy Consumption

The new DOE minimum energy efficiency requirements are part of ongoing efforts to reduce energy consumption in the U.S. and save home and property owners money. When the time comes to replace or upgrade existing systems, home and property owners will have to select new higher efficiency, 2023 DOE-compliant equipment.

What Is the Change?


As of January 1st, 2023, the DOE will be implementing new requirements for efficiency standards as well as changes to the efficiency rating rest procedure known as the “M1 Standard.” Systems affected by these updates include:


  • Split-system air conditioners

  • Split-system heat pumps

  • Single-packaged air conditioners

  • Single-packaged heat pumps



For air conditioners and heat pumps, efficiency standards vary by region. The U.S. is divided into three regions based on climate:

  • National/North

  • Southeast

  • Southwest




The climate makes a big difference in how often air conditioners and heat pumps operate; those that operate more have greater opportunities for energy savings. Therefore, air conditioners installed in northern climates must achieve a 14.0 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, or 13.4 SEER2, while those installed in the southeast and southwest must achieve a 15.0 SEER rating or 14.3 SEER2.

Georgia's New 2023 Southeast Efficiencies for AC Units and Heat Pumps-

AC & Heat Pumps 15.0 SEER

What if you don't have a Heat Pump but a Furnace? What is the difference?


The biggest difference between a furnace and a heat pump is the method in which they heat your home.


  • A furnace heats your home through combustion and relies on a fuel source and fan to heat your home. The fuel source, often oil or natural gas, burns in a combustion chamber.


  • A heat pump extracts heat from the outside air (even if it’s cold) to move warm air through your home.


  • A heat pump can heat and cool, but an air conditioner cannot, which is the primary difference between the two HVAC systems.


  • An air conditioner is typically paired with a furnace to provide heat during the cold months. Together, an air conditioner and furnace are complete heating and cooling system.


Furnaces are the most popular residential heating choice in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. However, due to mild winters, heat pumps are more popular in much of the southeastern region of the country.


Furnaces are less energy efficient than heat pumps. Furnaces have become more energy efficient over the years, but homes with a furnace also require a separate air conditioning unit to cool the house.



Heat pumps are best for homeowners who live in climates that don’t see long, cold winters, but still experience short periods of cold weather. Other advantages heat pumps have over furnaces are that they typically cost less to install and operate more quietly.


How does this affect Homeowners?


Homeowners will feel the effects of the M1 efficiency changes. Homeowners can expect the industry to introduce far more efficient comfort systems that are more intuitive than ever before. This means you can have better comfort in a more integrated fashion for a seamless comfort experience.


As with any new product development, there are many costs involved with major industry changes. The responsibility of and processes related to manufacturers’ M1 compliance can be very cumbersome. With compliance comes hundreds of research hours, heavy product development investments, etc. Add in supply chain issues and component/material shortages, it is no surprise that the expectation within the industry is that the average cost of HVAC systems will rise as the M1 qualifying equipment hits the market.

Does Your AC or Heat Pump have a SEER Lower than 14?

The new change to the SEER minimum coming in 2023 will not force you to do anything right away. If your AC is a SEER 13 or lower, you don’t need to immediately get it replaced before the 2023 rule change. The EPA’s SEER requirement is only for new AC units getting installed.

Now is the best time to replace your Heating and Cooling System!


If you are seeing any warning signs from your existing units that they may need to be replaced soon combined with the average cost of HVAC systems on the rise, now is a good time to look at your options before the new regulations are in place on January 1, 2023. For Georgia residents, purchasing a 14 SEER AC or heat pump will not be an option.


Affordability-wise now is the best time to replace your air conditioner, or heat pump or consider upgrading your furnace heating system to a more efficient heat pump.

Still, Confused About DOE 2023 Regulations for your heating and cooling Rules?

Give us a call at 770-443-9000 or visit CochranComplete.com. Our team of experienced AC technicians is incredibly knowledgeable about the rules and restrictions for residential air conditioning systems. We are always happy to get homeowners’ information about anything that could affect their home’s comfort systems and wallets.


When the heating and cooling goes out in your home or business, we know it can be a huge ordeal to deal with. The residents of Dallas, Acworth, Marietta, and surrounding counties can all count on Cochran Complete for all of their Air Conditioning and HVAC needs. We’re a locally owned, family-operated business and we value quality products and quality workmanship. We’re here to serve our community and help to keep them cool and comfortable all summer long and all winter long.


Call the team at Cochran Complete and let us help you with all of your Cooling needs: AC Repairs, AC Maintenance, AC Service, and AC Replacements!




It's All About Comfort With Cochran Complete


770-443-9000 or contact us online



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