On January 1, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) rolled out a major change in minimum energy efficiency standards for heating and cooling equipment. These new standards, known as Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio 2 or “SEER2” for short, will mean big savings in the coming years and increased home comfort. Dive in and see what these changes are and what they’ll mean for your Tampa area home.
New Testing Methods
As you’d expect, new ratings also demand a new testing method. The new M1 testing procedure, developed by the DOE, provides a more accurate picture of how your AC system will perform under real world conditions. The new changes include increasing external static pressure to better reflect how ducted AC systems work.
These changes ensure that HVAC manufacturers can better tailor their systems to offer optimal efficiency and performance under typical home conditions. You’ll be able to feel the difference and see it in the form of lower energy bills over the life of your system.
With new testing methods also come new ratings for residential AC systems. Just like SEER, the new minimum SEER2 ratings differ depending on which region of the country you live in. For homeowners in Florida and the rest of the Southeast, new residential AC systems with a capacity below 45,00 BTUs must carry a SEER2 rating of 14.3 or above. Larger systems must have a minimum SEER2 rating of 13.8.
The new changes also affect heat pumps bought and installed throughout the Southeast. Under SEER2, any heat pump you purchase and install must be rated at 14.3 or higher.
You’ll also find a change in how minimum energy efficiency requirements are listed. All AC and heat pump systems built and sold from 2023 onward will sport new EnergyGuide labels with the updated SEER2 ratings listed, along with EER2 and HSPF2 ratings for heat pump systems.
In the Southeast and Southwest U.S., any split-system air conditioner purchased and installed on or after January 1, 2023 must meet the new SEER2 standards. If you’re in the market for a new AC system, then you won’t have anything to worry about.
If you’ve already bought a new AC system prior to the new year but haven’t installed it yet, then things get a bit more complicated. In most cases, you can still have your AC system installed as long as its SEER rating is 15 or above. Otherwise, the experts at Gulf Coast Air Systems can help you find affordable alternatives to help keep your home cool and comfortable year-round.
If you’ve bought a heat pump, on the other hand, you’ll still be able to have it installed as long as it meets a minimum SEER of 14. That exception applies to all regions of the U.S.