“Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio” is one of the many terms you’ll hear about when buying a new AC system or heat pump. Change is in the wind for 2023, however, as the U.S. Department of Energy revamps the SEER rating system with changes aimed at promoting better efficiency for HVAC systems.
What’s Changing About SEER
One of the things that’s changing about SEER is the way the ratings are calculated. The upcoming “SEER2” standard includes a new testing procedure that more closely replicates field conditions when testing HVAC systems. More accurate testing means ratings that better reflect true system performance, which also means more efficiency for your AC or heat pump system. SEER2 will replace the outgoing SEER standard starting January 1, 2023.
Higher SEER Ratings for 2023
If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner or heat pump soon, you’ll also see increases in SEER ratings. For 2023, the minimum SEER rating for split-system air conditioners sold in the South region of the U.S. will go up from 14 SEER to 14.3 SEER2 for AC units with less than 45,000 BTUs of system capacity and 13.8 SEER2 for units with over 45,000 BTUs of capacity. That translates to 15 SEER and 14.5 SEER, respectively.
Nationwide, split-system heat pumps must have a minimum of 14.3 SEER2 after January 1. Efficiency ratings for packaged heat pump units will remain unchanged under the old SEER standards, but instead have a SEER2 rating of 13.4.
Keep in mind that all AC and heat pump systems installed in the South region must comply with the new federal minimums after January 1, 2023. Fortunately, manufacturers are busy rolling out new HVAC systems that meet or exceed the upcoming SEER2 requirements.
Now may be the best time to buy
For Sarasota and Bradenton homeowners in need of a new AC system or heat pump, Now may be the time to invest in a new AC Unit before the new SEER2 rated AC units become the only units available. Though the new units may be more efficient, they also come at a premium.