Our country is constantly working towards reducing our overall impact on our environment. When it comes to our homes, we can help reduce our energy needs by being mindful of the types of heating and cooling systems we utilize. To help ensure that we’re always taking a positive step forward, the U.S. Department of Energy issues SEER standards that all HVAC installers and manufacturers must meet.

When Do the New Changes Take Effect?

The U.S. Department of energy strategically evaluates appliances every six years to determine minimum efficiency standards and implement new changes. On January 1st, 2023, the Department of Energy’s new minimum efficiency requirements in testing standards for all central air conditioning systems and heat pumps goes into effect.

What Does SEER Stand For?

If you’re not overly familiar with air conditioning systems, you may be unaware of what SEER even stands for. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. This is a specific numerical rating assigned to each air conditioning unit and heat pump to showcase how energy efficient it is.

The higher the unit’s SEER rating, the more energy-efficient it will be. This means that you’ll be able to use less electricity to produce the same amount of cooling, which goes a long way in helping to reduce our country’s overall carbon footprint. Additionally, having systems in your home that meet the new SEER standards can greatly reduce your energy bill during the summer months.

What Are the New SEER Standards?

SEER standards are regionalized into three main areas of the country. These include the north, the south, and the southwest. Each region has its own specific SEER rating standards.

When we turn the page to enter 2023, all states in the northern region will be required to have air conditioning units and heat pumps with a SEER rating of at least 14. The past rating requirement for northern states was 13 SEER. All states included in the southern and southwest regions will have a new minimum SEER rating on all air conditioning units and heat pumps of 15. Their past standard SEER rating was 14.

What Does This Mean for Homeowners?

As a homeowner, it’s important to keep up to date on understanding the changes that go on in the HVAC industry that can impact the systems that you utilize in your home. As these new standards take effect, there’s nothing that you need to do on your end to fulfill them.

Homeowners who have air conditioning units and heat pumps that do not meet the new SEER standards can continue to run their units until it’s time for a replacement. When you go to replace your air conditioning system or heat pump, you will need to purchase a system that meets the new minimum standards. All HVAC installers are required by law to only stock products that meet the new industry SEER standards.

A Note on HSPF

If you have a heat pump in your home, it is given an HSPF rating. This stands for the heating seasonal performance factor. The higher your system’s HSPF rating, the more energy-efficient it will be. Alongside the new SEER standards for January 1st, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy is also requiring that air source heat pumps have an HSPF rating of at least 8.8. The old standard rating for heat pumps was 8.2.

Introduction of SEER2

Another change that is coming, along with the increase in SEER ratings, for air conditioning systems and heat pumps is the SEER2 testing standard. Traditionally known as the SEER testing standard, the new SEER2 standard will replace the old.

It’s noted that SEER2 testing better takes into account actual household circumstances to provide a more accurate assessment of how a potentially installed HVAC system will perform for a homeowner. What you need to know as a homeowner is that new HVAC systems will have a SEER2 rating instead of a SEER rating.

Reliable HVAC Services

Custom Air Inc. offers professional services for Browns Summit, NC and surrounding communities. We can help with all of your cooling and heating installation, repair, and maintenance needs. We also offer crawl space encapsulation and duct sealing, repairs, and insulation as well as indoor air quality products and services. Contact Custom Air Inc. for more information or to schedule an appointment to have a technician on the way to your home today.

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