New Energy Standards For 2023 Loom Despite Supply Shortages

manufactured housing energy efficiency furnace doe regulations
Capitol Supply & Services General Manager Craig Aspinall and Service Manager Andrei Lowry address attendees at the MMHA annual meeting.

New furnaces installed in manufactured homes beginning in January must meet the “14 SEER” energy efficiency standard.

Through this year, new furnaces only had to be rated for a 13 seasonal energy efficiency ratio. 

The problem? Supply of 14 SEER furnaces remains limited.

At the recent Michigan Manufactured Housing Association Conference in Novi, Mich., a pair of energy experts from Capitol Supply & Services spoke of new changes from the Department of Energy that will impact manufactured housing in 2023.

Capitol Supply & Services General Manager Craig Aspinall said supply units have experienced significant issues.

“We have had to push back installs,” Aspinall said.

Under the new energy efficiency standards for manufactured home furnaces, all new furnaces must meet new regulations for refrigerant (moving away from R410 refrigerant types in favor of R22 and R454B) and meet high-efficiency performance at 95 percent. 

Additionally, Southern U.S. states that currently have 14 SEER furnace minimums must now meet 15 SEER standards. 

Despite the mandate from the DOE to make the switch to, manufacturers have yet to notify suppliers of when the units will be available for installation.

Andrei Lowry, the company’s service manager, noted that older furnaces that lack the proper blower motors and other older parts are not 14 SEER compliant. The risk of damage to manufactured homes that comes from installing mismatched parts onto furnaces with differing levels of energy efficiency isn’t worth the risk, he said.

“If a coil is not adequately sized, then water, instead of going down the drain, ends up on the floor. You can get water in the ductwork,” Lowry said. 

Though 13 SEER furnaces can still be installed if they were manufactured in 2022 or earlier, Aspinall said. He said there is fear of what will happen if 14 SEER furnaces remain unavailable through spring.

“We don’t want you to have problems with a furnace two, three, four years down the line,” he said. “We’re not going to take that risk, and you shouldn’t either.”

During the presentation, Aspinall and Lowry also noted that further SEER regulations from the DOE may impact other areas of manufactured housing, including insulated skirting, turbine power, and solar energy.

Capitol Supply & Service still has 13 SEER equipment on hand, but haven’t set a date for “last call” purchases. 

“Whoever your provider is, talk to them now,” Aspinall recommended. 
In response to the new regulations from the DOE, the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) has planned meetings to discuss and align the Department of Housing and Urban Development with the new measures. The first set of meeting took place in mid-October, the second set of meetings takes place Nov. 15-17.

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