My AC unit just stopped working. What are recommended CA SEER and code requirements for 2015? I am getting conflicting messages.

Question

My AC unit just stopped working. What are recommended CA SEER and code requirements for 2015? I am getting conflicting messages.

Asked by Danelle

Our house is 2600 sq ft, 2 story, and had a Lennox HS21 2 stage 5 ton SEER 13.5 AC unit from 2002. Our heater from 1994. One pro said it wasn't worth repairing the leak, and that we should just get a new system and coil - $9500 for a Lennox XC14 SEER 16 5 ton 2 stage. The next pro said it would be $4k to even attempt the search for the leak (all 14lbs of Freon was gone) and repair and recharge the unit. He recommended replacing it with the "required as of Jan 1 2015" SEER 16 Lennox XC14. Oh, and it would be "illegal" for him to replace the AC without also replacing the heater, so the combined cost of AC, coil, heater and all labor/parts would be $15-20k. I can't find anything that says the new code is minimum 16 SEER. I also can't find any rebates for 2015 that apply to AC/Heaters for local or federal/state tax rebates. Help!

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Sean Lintow Sr's picture

First I am not in Cali but both "pros" recommended a 16 SEER & I can't see anything less than that being acceptable in most of Cali's market. You may wish to review this "changeover" link http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2013standards/changeout/ which applies The one thing that jumps out at me though is the 5 ton for such a small house - someone needs to really do a Manual J and see what you actually need & what if any other HVAC improvements should be done (i.e. make sure the air flow required for each room is getting there, etc...) For rebates check dsireusa.org