Energy efficiency is more than just a buzzword; it’s an important consideration for homeowners who want to save money and who also want to promote environmental sustainability. The launch of new SEER 2 rating standards in 2023 marks a significant shift in how we think about cooling efficiency. These changes affect new HVAC installations as well as routine AC maintenance and repairs. Discover the nuances of these changes and why they matter to you.
The Basics of SEER and SEER 2
SEER, short for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, is the traditional metric utilized to calculate the cooling efficiency of air conditioning units. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the system and the lower the operating costs. SEER is determined by dividing the cooling output during a regular cooling season—measured in British thermal units, or BTUs—by the energy consumed in the process as measured in watt-hours. These statistics are generated under special test conditions to establish consistency.
SEER 2 is the next era of AC efficiency ratings. It uses amended testing practices to provide a more accurate representation of real-world performance. As a result, you should anticipate that AC efficiency ratings with a “2” after them will be lower, even though they reflect the same performance.
SEER isn’t the only rating that’s changing in 2023. A corresponding cooling rating referred to as the energy efficiency ratio (EER) is also changing to a new standard called EER 2. And, heat pumps have a heating-related rating that evaluates wintertime heating efficiency. It’s named heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), which is also changing to HSPF 2 based on new, more rigorous testing standards.
New SEER Rating Standards for 2023
These kinds of changes probably will make you wonder—what are the new SEER rating standards for 2023? The Department of Energy (DOE) has established differing minimums for the Northern and Southern United States. Not surprisingly, the South has stricter requirements because this region has to depend more heavily on AC units. Here’s what consumers need to know when buying a new AC or heat pump:
- The 2023 minimum rating for air conditioners in Northern states is 14 SEER, which translates to 13.4 SEER 2.
- The 2023 minimum rating for air conditioners in Southern states is 15 SEER, which is equivalent to 14.3 SEER 2.
- The 2023 minimum EER rating only applies to air conditioners installed in Southwestern states. It’s 12.2 EER, which is the same as 11.7 EER 2.
- The 2023 minimum ratings for heat pumps apply nationwide. They are 15 SEER (14.3 SEER 2) and 8.8 HSPF (7.5 HSPF 2).
Why SEER 2 Matters for Homeowners
The change to SEER 2, EER 2 and HSPF 2 is important for several reasons.
The more accurate measurements provided by SEER 2-rated units allow homeowners to make educated decisions about new HVAC installations, potentially leading to reduced energy bills over the system’s life span.
Energy-efficient systems with a high SEER 2 rating consume significantly less energy. This decreases a building's carbon footprint, contributing positively to global environmental protection efforts.
Adhering to the latest SEER rating standards and knowing the equivalences between SEER and SEER 2 can help homeowners abide by the latest regulations. Be aware, HVAC companies are responsible for installing equipment that meets new testing guidelines.
In the North, pre-SEER 2 air conditioners can still be installed in 2023, just as long as they were manufactured before January 1. However, in the South, only SEER 2-compliant AC units can be installed after January 1. If an installer ignores these regulations and is penalized by the DOE, they must replace the non-compliant AC unit free of cost to the homeowner.
SEER 2 and New HVAC Installations
If you’re looking to purchase a new AC in 2023, you might see SEER or SEER 2 ratings indicated on the tag. Either rating may be regarded as compliant, as long as it fulfills the regional minimum.
However, it’s vital to note that the new SEER rating standards only relate to systems purchased and installed after January 1, 2023. Existing systems installed before this date don’t need to be replaced if they still function properly. This exception ensures homeowners aren’t strained by unnecessary expenses but are still able to encourage future investments in more energy-efficient options.
Embrace SEER 2 with Confidence with Finch Air Conditioning & Heating
Understanding SEER 2 is about more than just learning a new technical concept. Actually, it’s about aligning your property with the evolving landscape of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. SEER 2 brings a more precise measurement to the table, influencing the way homeowners plan new HVAC installations.
Finch Air Conditioning & Heating is ahead of the curve when it comes to this emerging period of heating and cooling efficiency. Our devotion to excellence, professionalism and wallet-friendly financing sets us apart. We even guarantee your 100% satisfaction, so you can move forward with confidence. From instructing homeowners about the new SEER rating standards to providing SEER 2-compliant HVAC installations in Kingwood, the team at Finch Air Conditioning & Heating is here for you.
Contact Finch Air Conditioning & Heating to find out how we can help you embrace the new SEER rating standards. Together, we’ll help you develop a more energy-efficient home customized to your needs and aligned with the future of air conditioning technology. Call 281-407-9478 today to get your appointment for AC service in Kingwood.