Energy efficiency is more than just a buzzword; it’s an essential consideration for homeowners who are intent on saving money and who also want to support environmental sustainability. The introduction of new SEER 2 rating standards in 2023 marks a substantial shift in how we think about cooling efficiency. These changes affect new HVAC installations as well as regular AC maintenance and repairs. Explore the intricacies 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 conventional metric used to calculate the cooling efficiency of air conditioning systems. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the system and the cheaper the operating charges. SEER is calculated by dividing the cooling output during a normal cooling season—measured in British thermal units, or BTUs—by the energy consumed in the process as measured in watt-hours. These statistics are done under specific test conditions to ensure 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. As a result, you can expect that AC efficiency ratings with a “2” after them will be smaller, even though they evaluate the same performance.
SEER isn’t the only rating that’s changing in 2023. A similar cooling rating known as the energy efficiency ratio (EER) is also changing to a new standard called EER 2. Additionally, heat pumps have a heating-related rating for wintertime operation. It’s named 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
Such changes could make you wonder—what are the new SEER rating standards for 2023? The Department of Energy (DOE) has created specific standards for the Northern and Southern United States. As expected, the South has more stringent requirements because this region relies more heavily on cooling systems. Here’s what you should know when shopping for a new air conditioner 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 essential for several reasons.
The more precise measurements provided by SEER 2-rated units enable homeowners to make informed 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 use less energy. This decreases your property'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 fulfills new testing requirements.
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 violates these regulations and is cited by the DOE, they are required to replace the non-compliant AC unit at no cost to the homeowner.
SEER 2 and New HVAC Installations
If you’re looking to purchase a new air conditioning system in 2023, you may see SEER or SEER 2 ratings shown on the tag. Either rating may be considered compliant, as long as it fulfills the regional minimum.
But bear in mind, it’s vital to note that the new SEER rating standards only apply to systems acquired and installed after January 1, 2023. Current systems installed prior to this date don’t need to be replaced if they still operate properly. This exception makes sure homeowners aren’t burdened by unnecessary expenses but are still able to support future investments in more energy-efficient options.
Embrace SEER 2 with Confidence with Strand Brothers Service Experts
Understanding SEER 2 is about more than just being introduced to 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, influencing the way homeowners plan new HVAC installations.
Strand Brothers Service Experts is ahead of the curve when it concerns this latest period of home comfort efficiency. Our dedication to excellence, professionalism and wallet-friendly financing sets us apart. We even guarantee your 100% satisfaction, so you can proceed with confidence. From educating homeowners about the new SEER rating standards to offering SEER 2-compliant HVAC installations in Austin, the team at Strand Brothers Service Experts is here for you.
Reach out to Strand Brothers Service Experts to find out how we can help you adapt to 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 cooling system technology. Call 512-592-3072 today to schedule your appointment for work on your AC in Austin.