Efficiency Ratings for Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps Have Changed
As we enter 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is asking HVAC contractors and their customers to adjust to new efficiency ratings for air conditioners and heat pumps. At Matheson, we’re up to speed on these changes and want to help you understand them, too!
In the past, the efficiency of air conditioners and heat pumps was measured by SEER, the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Beginning Jan. 1, however, these systems’ efficiency is now measured by SEER2.
So, why did the DOE do it? The simple answer is that technology and testing methods have improved so much that the DOE was able to create new standards with even more accurate overall efficiency ratings. That’s good news for all of us.
But what does it mean for those of us here in Michigan? Well, the DOE created three regions across the country—North, Southeast and Southwest. Based on different climate and cooling/heating needs, the rules are slightly different in each region. In Michigan, we’re part of the North region.
Here’s How the New Rules Affect Us
In the other two regions, compliance is determined by each system’s sell or installation date. But for the North region, compliance is determined by each system’s manufacturing date. Here are the new standards:
- All residential central air systems must have a SEER2 rating of at least 13.4 (previously 14 SEER).
- All heat pumps must have a SEER2 rating of at least 14.3 (previously 15 SEER).
However, in the North region, HVAC contractors can still sell and install 13 SEER ACs or 14 SEER heat pumps built before Jan. 1. There are pros and cons to choosing one of these older systems. The main pro: It will cost you less money. The main con: Parts, refrigerant and repairs will cost more as the stock of 13 SEER systems are phased out.
If you are still confused, the experts at Matheson will explain these changes to you in detail and help you make the decision that’s best for your home and your comfort.
Supply and Cost Challenges
Due to the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re still experiencing some delays in the supply chain. And those delays are expected to worsen due to these new regulations. In addition, prices are expected to climb. If your AC or heat pump is 15 years old or older, we strongly suggest you replace it now to get a jump on the demand for the new equipment and to avoid the higher prices soon to come.
With the SEER2 ratings, you should experience even greater efficiency and greater savings on your energy bills. If you are ready to upgrade your equipment or would like to learn more, call us at 248.971.2994. We’re also the team you can rely on for all of your heating, cooling and indoor air quality needs, including heating system installation.