New rules to regulate the use of air conditioning in new buildings and homes have generated the biggest winners, according to a new analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and her advisers say the new rules have saved taxpayers millions.
The new rules, announced on April 12, require that new residential buildings have air conditioning installed at least 20 percent of the time, while new commercial buildings can be fitted with up to 40 percent.
Under the old rules, only about one-fifth of residential buildings were required to have air conditioners.
McCarthy said she hopes the new rule will spur a national conversation about air conditioning.
“As Americans, we have the right to air-con and the right for businesses to choose how they want to operate,” she said.
“The air-cond, in my view, is essential to our health and well-being.”
The new rules also mandate that new homes, offices and apartments must have air-supply systems that are at least 50 percent efficient by 2025, while buildings with more than 1,000 square feet (40 square meters) must have a minimum of 15 percent efficiency.
Under current rules, the air-temperature in a building can drop to below 40 degrees Celsius (107 degrees Fahrenheit), the temperature at which a building will leak water.
However, the new standards require air-coolers that are 30 percent more efficient than other types of cooling systems, and require air conditioning that is more efficient by 40 percent than it was under the old rule.
The old rules require that air conditioning be installed on more than 10 percent of residential and commercial buildings by 2025.
In addition, new buildings must be fitted by the end of 2021 with at least two air conditioning units.
Many of the rules that McCarthy has said will be a win for the economy are already in place in other states.
Some of the other big winners are:New rules requiring air-compressors for new homes and offices.
New requirements that air-control systems be more efficient, including using technology that reduces the amount of CO2 produced by the heating system.
More stringent requirements for new commercial building codes.
And, McCarthy said, the rules also require more frequent testing for air conditioning, including requiring that air conditioner systems be inspected every 12 hours.
These rules were designed to address the nation’s air pollution crisis and help address the problem of a growing number of premature deaths, McCarthy told reporters on Thursday.
According to the EPA, there are nearly 5 million premature deaths in the U.S. each year due to respiratory diseases, including COPD.
On Thursday, McCarthy also said that she has signed off on the agency’s proposed rule to require all air conditioning systems to be at least 40 percent efficient and that it will begin enforcing the rule by the middle of next year.
The EPA is expected to release its final rule on air-curement in the first half of 2018.