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  1. #1

    New home and Builder will install SEER 12?

    Hello. I have a new home being built in Pennsylvania. I had some concerns regarding the cooling system and found out the builder plans to have a SEER 12 system installed. It is my understanding that a SEER 12 or lower is basically an obsolete unit no longer being manufactured. I will find out next week whether the unit uses r-22 or r-410a refrigerant. I would think that a new house should have a new and state of the art central air conditioning and heating unit. Since a SEER 12 and lower have not been manufactured since late 2005 the unit is at least 3 years old. I think this is a joke. A new home should have a high efficiency unit of at least SEER 14 and a HSPF of 7.7 or higher. Does Pennsylvania or any other state mandate the use of higher efficiency units in new construction residential homes? Do I have a right to insist on a SEER 13 or better unit? Thank you for any comments.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    NJ
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    Residential air conditioner systems (not window box air conditioners), manufactured after today must achieve a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 13 or higher. A SEER rating of 13 is 30 percent more efficient than the current 10 SEER standard. Equipment with a rating less than 13 SEER manufactured before today may still be sold and installed, and homeowners and builders can still buy 10 SEER residential air conditioners until the supply is exhausted.

    from: http://www.energy.gov/news/3097.htm'


    If it were my house id tell the bulder to pound salt.

    Id have a one of these 21 SEER units put in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    Well, I won't agree with state of the art.

    But, it should be atleast 13 SEER as you said.

    Tell your builder you won't accept the 12 SEER unit.(no longer made since JAN 1, 2006, in this country)

    And no, PA has no 14 SEER min requirement for new homes. Other states may though.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherNJ View Post
    [I]Residential air conditioner systems (not window box air conditioners), manufactured after today must achieve a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 13 or higher.
    Id have a one of these 21 SEER units put in.
    There are space constraint waivers to that reg.
    Thru the wall condensers is one of the waiviers.

    Not to bust on the OP, but, I doubt he wants to pay the price of a 21 SEER unit.
    An upgrade like that is a lot on a new construction home. Since they don't allow much for the mechanicals to begin with.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    SC
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    You can insist on anything you want. Whether you get it is another issue.

    Do you have a contract with the builder? Does it specify SEER/HSPF? He is perfectly legal to install any SEER/HSPF he wants if he is not constrained by contract. I'm sure he'd be glad to upgrade but you will probably have to pay the difference unless you have a contract that says otherwise.
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  6. #6

    Capacity?

    Thank you for all the helpful replies. It just seems strange to me that a new home would be built, and the builder be so cheap, that they will install an obsolete SEER 12 unit. Their literature specifies high efficiency hot air natural gas heat and central air conditioning as standard. Since the SEER 12 is no longer being manufactured and the new high efficiency standard is now SEER 13 or higher I would question whether legally a SEER 12 can be considered high efficiency. On Tuesday I will contact the company who is supplying the unit and find out the make and model. I have contacted serveral manufacturers of HVAC systems and was told it makes no sense to install an older unit in the home. Since the standards have changed and r-22 refrigerant is getting harder to get and the repairs for the units using this type of refrigerant will become more and more costly I would hope the refrigerant is r-410a. I will also comfirm that they are skimping on the capacity for a 2200 square feet two story twinhome. I think a 4 ton (3 ton being to small and 5 ton to large) would be right. Any comments on the right capacity? I think any reputable builder would install a minimum SEER 13 and allow for upgrades if desired by the buyer. Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    A. Builders don't use expensive equipment or materials on new homes. They use the lowest price they can find.
    B. 13 SEER is the new LOW efficiency standard.
    C. Your size guess sounds like you heard an old rule of thumb. And want to over size your A/C.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Before you get to excited, find out for sure. Don't confuse R-22 with SEER rating. Find out the model of your new a/c and then ask youre question. No one here can tell you what you are getting because we haven't seen any spec sheets.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Navarre Florida
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    131
    Have you talked to your builder about an upgrade. I believe he should accomidate you, ask for the difference in pricing and get what you want.
    Then everybody wins.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2004
    Location
    Howell, Michigan
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    You know, if you really stop and think about it, a 13 SEER outdoor unit improperly matched could also be less than the 13 SEER minimum.

    You need to find out what his entire match is, not just the outdoor equipment.

    Builders are cheap people..........I am not suprised by this at all..........

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Howell, Michigan
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    Moved to the residential forum while I'm at it!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeyBob View Post

    Builders are cheap people..........I am not suprised by this at all..........
    I'm only suprised that anybody has a 12 SEER still instock.
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  13. #13
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    Jun 2004
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    Howell, Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    I'm only suprised that anybody has a 12 SEER still instock.
    I bought two 10 SEER cooling only Goodman package units last month, installed them in a couple of Park Models at an RV Resort. The guy wanted more, but I couldn't find anymore........

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