What is a SEER Rating?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Like EER, it is a measurement of an AC unit’s efficiency. However, as its name suggests, the SEER measures the unit’s efficiency over the course of an entire cooling season.
This is done by measuring the average EER over a range of indoor and outdoor temperatures, and across varying humidity levels, to simulate the run of an entire season. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit is.
What is the Minimum SEER for my Location?
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 regulates standard SEER efficiencies, based on the following:
- Northern states: Minimum 13 SEER
- Southern and southeastern states: Minimum 14 SEER
- Southwestern states: Minimum 14 SEER
However new SEER standards are set to take effect next year.
What are the New SEER Standards for 2023?
On January 1, 2023, the federal minimum will increase by 1 SEER for all regions, for both AC units and heat pumps. This includes central air conditioners, as well as split systems like ductless mini splits.
||AC Minimum SEER now
||AC Minimum SEER by 2023
||Heat Pump Min. SEER now
||Heat Pump Min. SEER by 2023
|South + Southeast
The new standard will be known as SEER2. Apart from AC units and heat pumps, higher ratings will apply to:
- Single Packaged Units
- Evaporator Coils
- Gas Furnaces
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, consumers and contractors looking to install a new air conditioner, heat pump, or any of the appliances mentioned above next year will have to abide by the new minimum SEER2 ratings.
For contractors, there is one important difference to note between regions:
- Northern states: compliance is determined by manufacturing date
- Southern states: compliance is determined by installation date