Energy efficiency is more than just a buzzword; it’s a critical consideration for homeowners who are intent on saving money and who also want to help improve environmental sustainability. The introduction of new SEER 2 rating standards in 2023 marks a big shift in how we look at cooling efficiency. Release of the new calculations affects new HVAC installations as well as ongoing AC maintenance and repairs. Let’s learn more about 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 standard metric employed to evaluate the cooling efficiency of air conditioning systems. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the system and the lower the operating expenses. SEER is determined by dividing the cooling output during a typical cooling season—measured in British thermal units, or BTUs—by the energy consumed in the process as measured in watt-hours. These computations are done under special test conditions to establish consistency.
SEER 2 is the next wave of AC efficiency ratings. It utilizes amended testing practices to provide a more accurate representation of real-world performance. Because of this, you should be prepared to see that AC efficiency ratings with a “2” after them will be less than SEER ratings that do not have a "2", even though they evaluate the same performance.
SEER isn’t the only rating that’s changing in 2023. A similar cooling rating called the energy efficiency ratio (EER) is also changing to a new standard called EER 2. And, heat pumps have a heating-related rating for winter performance. It’s called heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), which is also changing to HSPF 2 based on new, more rigorous testing criteria.
New SEER Rating Standards for 2023
All these changes probably will make you wonder—what are the new SEER rating standards for 2023? The Department of Energy (DOE) has created differing minimums for the Northern and Southern United States. Not surprisingly, the South has more stringent requirements because this region depends more heavily on AC units. Here’s what consumers need to know when shopping for a new air conditioning unit 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 switch to SEER 2, EER 2 and HSPF 2 is crucial for a number of reasons.
The more exact measurements provided by SEER 2-rated units enable homeowners to make educated decisions about new HVAC installations, potentially leading to lower energy bills over the system’s life span.
Energy-efficient systems with a high SEER 2 rating take a reduced amount of energy. This minimizes your property's carbon footprint, contributing positively to global environmental protection efforts.
Following the latest SEER rating standards and recognizing the equivalences between SEER and SEER 2 can help homeowners abide by the latest regulations. Please remember, HVAC companies are responsible for installing equipment that meets new testing guidelines.
In the North, pre-SEER 2 ACs can still be installed in 2023, just as long as they were manufactured before January 1. However, in the South, only SEER 2-compliant air conditioners can be installed after January 1. If an installer breaches these regulations and is caught by the DOE, they need to replace the non-compliant AC unit with no cost to the homeowner.
SEER 2 and New HVAC Installations
If you’re shopping for a new AC in 2023, you probably will see SEER or SEER 2 ratings depicted on the tag. Either rating may be deemed compliant, if it satisfies the regional minimum.
But, it’s vital to note that the new SEER rating standards only relate to systems bought and installed after January 1, 2023. Any HVAC systems installed earlier than this date don’t need to be replaced if they still function properly. This exception makes sure homeowners aren’t weighed down by unnecessary expenses but are still able to support future investments in more energy-efficient options.
Embrace SEER 2 with Confidence with Strogen's Service Experts
Appreciating SEER 2 is about more than just learning a new technical concept. Instead, it’s about aligning your home with the evolving landscape of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. SEER 2 brings a more accurate measurement to the table, impacting the way homeowners tackle new HVAC installations.
Strogen's Service Experts is ahead of the curve when it comes to this latest age of home comfort 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 Rochester, the team at Strogen's Service Experts is here to help.
Get in touch with Strogen's Service Experts to learn how we can help you embrace the new SEER rating standards. Together, we’ll help you create a more energy-efficient home personalized to your needs and aligned with the future of air conditioning technology. Call 603-923-4570 today to get your appointment for AC service in Rochester.