As a homeowner, doing what you can to increase your home’s energy efficiency is likely important to you. Making small changes to your energy usage and updating your HVAC system will yield greater efficiency, but there are some things you need to know about efficiency standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Knowing what to look for when purchasing or upgrading your HVAC system is an essential part of making sure your home is energy efficient and in compliance with local and national guidelines. Read on to see all about the SEER2 rating and how it applies to you.
What Does a SEER Rating Refer To?
SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio,” and it is a measurement of an AC or heat pump unit’s efficiency. Specifically, SEER ratings measure a unit’s cooling output efficiency over the course of a cooling season with fluctuating temperatures and humidity. The more efficient your unit is at regulating temps in your home, the higher the SEER rating will be.
Most units have a SEER rating between 10 and 20, but the Department of Energy has set minimums for the efficiency of newly manufactured HVAC systems. Since 2007, those minimums have been 13 or 14 SEER, depending on where you live. However, these minimum ratings are about to change.
New Ratings Soon in Effect
As of January 2023, new minimum SEER ratings will be in effect for each state. The new rating standards will be referred to as SEER2. Your responsibility as a homeowner is to know how these changes will impact you. For the new ratings, the Department of Energy has broken the U.S. into three regions, each with its unique energy requirements according to environmental demand. Updated SEER requirements for the various regions are as follows:
- Northern Region – Minimum SEER rating of 14 for AC units and 15 for heat pumps
- Southwest Region – Minimum SEER rating of 15 for both AC units and heat pumps
- Southeast+ Region – Minimum rating of 15 for both AC units and heat pumps
Advantages of Better Efficiency
In addition to aligning with the new SEER2 standards, having an AC or heat pump that meets these minimums comes with various benefits. You can look forward to the following.
Lower Utility Bills
An HVAC unit with a higher SEER2 rating can reduce utility bills by as much as 50% per month. Over time, the cost of an upgraded unit more than pays for itself with this significant reduction in energy costs.
Lower Initial Costs
While a high-efficiency system may cost more upfront, there are state and federal credits and rebates that may be available to you. These can provide you with a lower initial cost than you may have expected to pay.
Minimal Impact on The Environment
Clean water and fresh air are some of our greatest natural resources. Using an energy-efficient HVAC system helps to reduce emissions and requires less energy. You can have peace of mind knowing that are doing your part to create a cleaner and healthier environment for everyone.
Superior Humidity Control
High-efficiency heat pumps and air conditioners are able to operate at lower pressures than older units. These units with longer operating cycles help minimize moisture, making it easier to control humidity levels indoors.
SEER2 and You
Homeowners with existing AC units and heat pump systems will not be required to upgrade to a higher-efficiency unit, but if there is a plan to purchase one in 2023, it must be in compliance with the new SEER2 standards. A qualified HVAC professional can provide you with expert tips and advice on the best steps for making sure your unit is in compliance with the new guidelines.
Get Ready for Energy Savings!
Not sure if your unit will make the cut as the new SEER2 ratings take effect? The professionals at Acute Heating & Cooling can provide a thorough assessment of your system and its efficiency. Our team provides heating and cooling maintenance, repair, and installation for air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, ductless systems, and commercial HVAC systems. To help you keep your unit as efficient as possible, we offer our Comfort Club maintenance plans for year-round HVAC care. Are you interested in improving your home’s indoor air quality? We can help with that too. Contact us at Acute Heating & Cooling today to learn more about our services or set up an appointment