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 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 view cooling efficiency. These changes affect new HVAC installations as well as routine AC maintenance and repairs. Explore the nuances of these changes and what impact they could have on you.
The Basics of SEER and SEER 2
SEER, short for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, is the traditional metric utilized to assess the cooling efficiency of air conditioning models. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the system and the lower the operating charges. SEER is calculated 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 calculations are generated under special test conditions to establish consistency.
SEER 2 is the next wave of AC efficiency ratings. It applies 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 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 referred to as the energy efficiency ratio (EER) is also shifting to a new standard called EER 2. Also, heat pumps have a heating-related rating that applies to cold weather performance. It’s called 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 might make you wonder—what are the new SEER rating standards for 2023? The Department of Energy (DOE) has set specific minimums for the Northern and Southern United States. Not surprisingly, the South has more stringent requirements because this region has to depend more heavily on AC units. Here’s what consumers need to know when shopping for 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 transition to SEER 2, EER 2 and HSPF 2 is crucial for many reasons.
The more exact measurements provided by SEER 2-rated units empower homeowners to make informed decisions about new HVAC installations, likely leading to lower energy bills over the system’s life span.
Energy-efficient systems with a high SEER 2 rating use less energy. This minimizes 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. Of course, HVAC companies are responsible for installing equipment that meets new testing standards.
In the North, pre-SEER 2 air conditioners can still be installed in 2023, so long as they were manufactured before January 1. But, in the South, only SEER 2-compliant air conditioners can be installed after January 1. If an installer violates these regulations and is penalized 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 might see SEER or SEER 2 ratings indicated on the tag. Either rating may be considered compliant, as long as it fulfills the regional minimum.
However, it’s very important to note that the new SEER rating standards only apply to systems bought and installed after January 1, 2023. Current systems installed prior to this date don’t need to be replaced if they still perform properly. This exception was created so homeowners aren’t burdened by unnecessary expenses but are still able to promote future investments in more energy-efficient options.
Embrace SEER 2 with Confidence with Church Services
Appreciating SEER 2 is about more than just grasping a new technical concept. Rather, 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, affecting the way homeowners tackle new HVAC installations.
Church Services is ahead of the curve when it comes 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 teaching homeowners about the new SEER rating standards to doing SEER 2-compliant HVAC installations in Houston, the team at Church Services is here to help.
Reach out to Church Services to learn how we can help you adopt the new SEER rating standards. Together, we’ll help you create a more energy-efficient home customized to your needs and aligned with the future of air conditioning technology. Call 713-396-3760 today to set up your appointment for work on your AC in Houston.