New AC Standards for 2023: What SEER2 Means for AC Efficiency


The new SEER2 efficiency standards will take effect in January 2023

In 2023, new government regulations are primed to impact home air conditioning systems around the country. These regulations focus entirely on the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems and which systems homeowners can install on their properties.

Most homeowners are unaware of what the minimum efficiency standards are or how these upcoming changes will affect them. Let’s look at these new regulations and how they’ll impact you, your home, and your wallet.

Understanding SEER

SEER, or the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, measures a central air conditioning system’s cooling performance. SEER takes into account the total cooling capacity of the system during normal operations and divides it by the total electric energy input over that same period. The higher the SEER number, the less energy is required for a system to perform its job.

The last time these minimum efficiency standards were set was back in 2015. This was the first time separate standards were created for cooling central air conditioners in the northern and southern parts of the United States. The Department of Energy requires a minimum energy conservation standard of 13 SEER in the North and 14 SEER in the South. However, SEER rating standards vary from state to state due to different climate and temperature regions throughout the country.

What is SEER2?

SEER2 protocols will be required on new systems manufactured on or after January 1, 2023 along with higher SEER ratings. Products affected by SEER2 regulations include:

  • Heat Pumps
  • Single Packaged Units
  • Evaporator Coils
  • Air Conditioner Condensing Units
  • Gas Furnaces

The new standards require an increased cooling performance of 14 SEER in the North region and 15 SEER in the South. Additionally, they require an increase in minimum heating efficiency for air-source heat pumps, typically measured by the heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF). The new minimum will change to 8.8 HSPF up from 8.2 HSPF.

What Does SEER2 Mean for Homeowners?

The new standards apply to residential AC units and heat pumps manufactured after December 31, 2022, so existing appliances aren’t covered. However, homeowners looking to install a new air conditioner or heat pump in 2023 will have to abide by the new minimum SEER and SEER2 ratings.

One important note for us in Wisconsin is that compliance with the SEER2 standards will be determined by manufacturing date of the installed unit. This means we have little more leeway, allowing us to install older SEER standards as long as the unit was manufactured before Jan 1, 2023. This also allows sell-through of older SEER inventory while preparing for the changeover.

What Should You Know About SEER2?

The majority of those affected by the regulation changes from SEER to SEER2 will be HVAC companies and manufacturers. At Pharo Heating & Cooling, we fully understand the upcoming SEER2 changes. We’ll always have and know where to find the appropriate units for your home – then, we can fully install it and maintain it to keep your home more energy efficient than ever.

If you’re still curious about the changes between SEER and SEER2 and how they might impact you, your home, or your business, we’ve got the info you need. Reach our team at Pharo Heating & Cooling to learn more!


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