Understanding the New SEER 2 Rating and Why It Matters
Energy efficiency is more than just a buzzword; it’s an essential consideration for homeowners who want to save 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 scheduled AC maintenance and repairs. Explore the ins and outs of these changes and how they apply 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 units. 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 calculations are created under special test conditions to establish consistency.
SEER 2 is the next era of AC efficiency ratings. It uses adjusted testing methods 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 less than SEER ratings that do not have a "2", even though they assess the same performance.
SEER isn’t the only rating that’s changing in 2023. A comparable cooling rating referred to as the energy efficiency ratio (EER) is also shifting to a new standard called EER 2. Additionally, heat pumps have a heating-related rating for cold weather heating efficiency. It’s referred to as heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), which is also changing to HSPF 2 based on new, more exacting testing standards.
New SEER Rating Standards for 2023
These kinds of changes might make you wonder—what are the new SEER rating standards for 2023? The Department of Energy (DOE) has created different minimums for the Northern and Southern United States. Not surprisingly, the South has stricter requirements because this region has to depend more heavily on cooling systems. Here’s what to know when searching 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 change to SEER 2, EER 2 and HSPF 2 is essential for many reasons.
The more exact measurements provided by SEER 2-rated units allow homeowners to make informed decisions about new HVAC installations, possibly leading to diminished energy bills over the system’s life span.
Energy-efficient systems with a high SEER 2 rating use lower energy. This minimizes a building's carbon footprint, contributing positively to global environmental protection efforts.
Adhering to the new SEER rating standards and recognizing 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 standards.
In the North, pre-SEER 2 air conditioning systems can still be installed in 2023, just as long as they were produced before January 1. But, in the South, only SEER 2-compliant AC units can be installed after January 1. If an installer breaches these regulations and is cited by the DOE, they need 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 probably will see SEER or SEER 2 ratings depicted on the tag. Either rating may be considered compliant, as long as it meets the regional minimum.
But, it’s very important to note that the new SEER rating standards only apply 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 perform properly. This exception ensures 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 Neal Harris Service Experts
Understanding SEER 2 is about more than just grasping a new technical concept. Rather, it’s about aligning your home with the ever-changing landscape of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. SEER 2 brings a more precise measurement to the table, influencing the way homeowners think about new HVAC installations.
Neal Harris Service Experts is ahead of the curve when it relates to this latest period of HVAC efficiency. Our dedication to excellence, professionalism and affordable 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 Kansas City, the team at Neal Harris Service Experts is here to make your decisions easier.
Reach out to Neal Harris Service Experts to find out how we can help you adapt to the new SEER rating standards. Together, we’ll help you develop a more energy-efficient home tailored to your needs and aligned with the future of air conditioning technology. Call 816-787-0500 today to get your appointment for work on your AC in Kansas City.