On New SEER Efficiency Rating Requirements

SEER Efficiency Rating

The concept of energy efficiency is a vital one throughout numerous industries and sectors, and the HVAC world is one of the single best examples. 2023 was a big year for the HVAC realm when it comes to efficiency, and one major change was behind this: The introduction of new “SEER 2” rating standards for cooling efficiency and air conditioners.

At Accurate Air, we’re here to serve as your one-stop shop for all HVAC contractor needs around Tempe and Scottsdale, including air conditioning replacement and any other air conditioning services you may require. We’re fully compliant with new SEER guidelines and regulations, ensuring our clients only work with highly efficient components for all their cooling needs. Here’s a look at what SEER ratings are and the vital role they play in areas like air conditioning, plus how these new standards differ from the old ones and what both clients and HVAC professionals need to be aware of.

Basics and Value of SEER Ratings in General

Before we get into the specific differences between the old and new SEER ratings, let’s first define what this acronym means. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio – it’s a rating system used to measure the energy efficiency of cooling systems. Essentially, it’s a way to quantify just how much energy is used by an AC system when providing cooling over an entire season.

Traditionally, SEER has been calculated by dividing the expected cooling output (in BTUs, or British Thermal Units) by the total amount of energy input (in watt-hours). This means that a higher SEER rating signifies better efficiency, as less energy is required to achieve the same cooling output.

One of the primary reasons for developing and implementing SEER ratings was to help consumers make informed decisions when purchasing new HVAC equipment. By having standardized ratings across all manufacturers, customers can easily compare the energy efficiency of different models and make an educated decision.

But SEER ratings aren’t just beneficial for consumers – they also play a crucial role in promoting energy efficiency as a whole. By incentivizing manufacturers to produce more efficient units, SEER standards help reduce overall energy consumption and lessen the impact on the environment.

Differences Between Old and New SEER Ratings

As mentioned, 2023 saw the introduction of new SEER standards – specifically referred to as “SEER 2” ratings. SEER standards have always been split up into specific regions of the United States, and two of those regions saw their regulations become more stringent under SEER 2 guidelines. Here are the basics to be aware of:

  • Northern states: Typical SEER requirements for new air conditioners in Northern states has been 14 SEER, which translates to 13.4 SEER 2.
  • Southern states: For Southern states, which have stricter requirements in general, the minimum rating in 2023 was 15 SEER, or 14.3 SEER 2.
  • Southwestern states: These states go from 12.2 SEER to 11.7 ER 2.
  • Heat pumps: Minimum ratings are nationwide for heat pumps, and they are 15 SEER or 14.2 SEER 2.

Why You Should Care About SEER 2

As a home or building owner, there are a few major reasons why these changes to SEER guidelines should be relevant to you:

  • Staying in compliance: First and foremost, you need to be aware of these changes so your HVAC system remains in compliance with local regulations. Fines for noncompliance can be hefty, and it’s also important to do your part in promoting energy efficiency.
  • Potential savings: While air conditioning installation or replacement may seem like a costly endeavor up front, the long-term energy savings from higher SEER ratings can actually save you significant money over time. As SEER 2 regulations continue to evolve, the gap between lower and higher efficiency units will only grow.
  • Impact on environment: As mentioned, SEER ratings play a crucial role in reducing overall energy consumption and lessening the impact on the environment. By investing in higher-efficiency units, you’re doing your part in promoting sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint.

If you’re in need of air conditioning replacement or other services that fall under SEER regulations, it’s critical to work with an HVAC contractor who understands these guidelines and is fully compliant with them. At Accurate Air, we have a large selection of high-efficiency units that meet all SEER 2 standards, and our experienced technicians can help you find the perfect solution for your cooling needs. Contact us today to learn more about this or any of our other HVAC services for clients around Tempe and Scottsdale.

Back to Tips