New government SEER rules will affect household air conditioning systems nationwide this year. These laws exclusively address the energy effectiveness of air-conditioning units and the types of systems that property holders may install.
Most are unaware of the minimum efficiency requirements or how these changes would affect them. Let's discuss the set rules and how they will affect you, your house, and your finances.
What Makes SEER and SEER2 Different From One Another?
The SEER2 effective energy rating system for heat pumps and air conditioners is an improved version of the original SEER system. The Department of Energy has decided that increasing the external static pressure standard will make testing more closely mimic real-world circumstances. External static pressure refers to the total amount of positive and negative external pressures the blower must deal with, including friction from ductwork and air filters.
On January 1, 2023, new, stricter energy efficiency standards came into effect, due to which manufacturers are bound to adhere to SEER2 regulations.
In short, SEER2 is calculated the same way as SEER, but only the testing conditions differ. Namely, we measure how many cooling BTUs we get at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% output (these are partial and full power EER ratings). If you change the test conditions, these EER ratings will change; hence, the SEER will change.
Before we go deeper into SEER 2, it is better to understand what SEER is and why it is used.
Overview of SEER
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, commonly known as SEER, is the standardized efficiency metric for central air conditioning units. You can calculate the SEER ratio by dividing the overall cooling capacity of the unit during a routine operation by the total amount of electric energy used during the same period. A formula that subtracts watt-hours from BTUs can describe this ratio.
A central air conditioner uses less energy to increase its SEER rating. The minimal energy conservation standard set by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) is 14-SEER in the south and 13-SEER in the north. Most manufacturers create central air conditioning systems that perform better than those criteria.
Energy Star certification may be available for central air conditioning units with SEER values of 14 or above. Based on the most current efficiency rating methods, Energy Star distinguishes products with high efficiency.
What is a SEER Rating?
SEER measures the effectiveness of an AC unit similarly to EER. The SEER, however, measures the appliance's effectiveness throughout an entire cooling season.
To replicate the course of a complete season, you can measure the average EER throughout various outside and inside temperatures and across different humidity levels. The efficiency of the device increases with the SEER rating.
Overview of SEER2?
SEER2 (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio 2), which will replace SEER as the cooling efficiency metric, gauges an air conditioner's advanced performance level. You can calculate SEER2 by dividing the cooling output by the electrical energy input. The air conditioner's efficiency (SEER2) increases with the SEER rating.
The Energy Star program recognizes air conditioners with SEER ratings above the minimum law required for effective operation. The units must display a SEER2 rating of 14.5 or higher on their labeling to prove that these systems offer an energy use reduction of at least 15%. Additionally, it considers updated external static pressure scenarios that more accurately reflect actual conditions and energy expenditures.
The Importance of SEER2 Ratings
Your home's heating and cooling system will become more effective by switching to the new SEER2 standard. It will consume less electricity to optimize indoor comfort, which means cheaper monthly energy expenditures.
Remember that SEER ratings might change at any time since failing to replace an old system with a new one under current recommendations could have significant consequences.
Region Regulations for SEER2
Inventory management has become more difficult due to the switch from SEER to SEER2, as it is now necessary to ensure that current inventories meet the new efficiency standards. An air conditioning system that operates only at specific times of the day and night or in hot weather will comply with 2023 ratings.
- Minimum SEER2 rating of 14.3 for all AC units under 45,000 BTU
- For all home central air conditioning systems that are 45,000 BTU, the SEER2 rating must be at least 13.8
- For all heat pumps, it must be at least 15.
After January 1, 2023, the Southwest Region will not permit the installation or sale of air conditioning units that do not adhere to SEER2 standards.
- A minimum SEER2 value of 13.4 for all home air conditioning systems
- Heat pumps with a minimum SEER2 rating of 15
After January 1, 2023, manufacturers must comply with the new SEER 2 standards.
- Minimum SEER2 rating of 14.3 for all air conditioners under 45,000 BTU
- For all air conditioners 45,000 BTU and up, the SEER2 rating must be at least 13.8
- For all heat pumps, it must be at least 15.
After January 1, 2023, the Southeast Region will not permit the installation or sale of air conditioning units if an HVAC system does not satisfy SEER2 requirements.
What Products Do SEER 2 Regulations Affect?
Here is a list of products that fall under SEER2 regulations.
Air Conditioning Condensing Units
The outdoor component of a split HVAC system is the air conditioning condensing unit. A split AC unit typically consists of an air handler and coil. The minimum SEER2 requirement for gas-electric packaged units and single residential air conditioners is 13.4.
Heat pumps use temperature variations between outdoors and indoors to warm and cool the air within your home. They are an essential component of most modern home HVAC systems and are quite efficient.SEER2 requires at least 14.3 for heat pumps.
For energy-efficient systems, the SEER2 standard also applies to gas furnaces utilized for heating. The list indicates that SEER2 criteria don't solely apply to air conditioners.
When satisfying the demand from customers for new and enhanced HVAC systems, HVAC contractors must adhere to SEER2 standards.SEER2 requires at least 14.3 for gas furnaces.
What Effect Does SEER2 Have on Homeowners?
The United States Emergency Information Administration (EIA) estimates that 76 million homeowners use a central air conditioner. Only 11% of residential customers use heat pumps as part of their HVAC system.
According to the Department of Energy Conservation, families who use air conditioners and heat pumps can save between $2.5 and $12.2 billion on energy costs over 30 years by adhering to the new guidelines.
Although it may seem an added burden to the region's residents, when we consider its long-term effects, we notice that it cuts down carbon footprint and reduces costs.
The Bottom Line – Contact Us Now!
Although high-efficiency units are more expensive up front, they will save a considerable amount of energy over time (both environmentally and economically). You have a right as a homeowner to understand the reason behind the price you are paying for your goods. The performance of your unit also relies on the size of your home, how frequently you use it, and how cold or warm it is outside. Not all A/C units offer the same amount of comfort.
PROZONE air conditioning experts will assist you in identifying the ideal unit for your residence and inform you of the variations among units. So, call us now to book an appointment!