Starting on January 1, 2023, all new residential central air conditioning and air source heat pump systems will be required to meet new minimum energy efficiency standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The new SEER2 standards redefine cooling efficiency levels for air conditioners and heating efficiency levels for air source heat pumps in the South.
It is important to consult with a professional HVAC company to discuss options for repairs and replacements on older units to weigh your options. Norman Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing provides free estimates on HVAC replacements and can get you set up with an online or in-person quote.
What Is A SEER Rating?
In 2015, the DOE revised energy efficiency standards with a new equipment testing system that determined the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) — used to measure a system’s heating or cooling performance. Now, they have decided to start revising it after determining that the 2015 testing doesn’t quite meet current real-world situations.
This new testing standard, SEER2, rolls out January 1, 2023. This means that current entry-level units (13 or 14 SEER, depending on region), will be phased out and the new entry-level units will start at 15 SEER in the South (and 14 in the North).
What Does This Mean For Efficiency?
The SEER2 standard means that units sold nationally will be 7% more efficient! The DOE calculated that this will save homeowners across the U.S. a collective $2.5 billion to $12.2 billion on energy bills during the 30-year period following implementation of the new standards (in homes using heat pumps and central air systems).
What Does SEER2 Mean For Oklahoma Homeowners?
Because 14 SEER AC condensers and mini-splits (entry-level under the old standard) will be phased out and not sold or installed after January, service and repair on these units will increase as the scarcity of parts also increases.
Available parts may dwindle earlier as heating and cooling companies wind down their inventories of 14 SEER units in their warehouses.
This also means that entry-level air conditioners will be more expensive after January 2023, since the new entry-level models will be 15 SEER — the mid-level models of 2022.
These are the new SEER2 standards in Oklahoma:
- All heat pumps and residential central air systems below 45,000 BTU must be at least 14.3 SEER
- All residential central air systems 45,000+ BTU must be at least 13.8 SEER
Any equipment that does not meet these standards by January 1, 2023 cannot be installed or sold in the Southeast region.
To Minimize Costs, Make A Choice
If you own a 14 SEER and would like to keep it, be prepared for increased repair prices and scarcity of replacement parts.
If you buy a new 15 (or higher) SEER unit now, you can get ahead of the changing standards and rising repair costs. It is the perfect time to buy — before demand and prices continue to rise as inventory shifts.
In general, higher SEER means reduced utility costs and longer warranties, so it may be worth your time to look into more efficient models.
The Nitty Gritty Details
As outlined in the complete document, 2023 SEER2 regulations establish that newly manufactured residential and commercial heating and cooling equipment must be more efficient in regions where cooling loads make up a larger share of home energy use.
For more information about how your Oklahoma home will be impacted or how to get ahead of the new regulations, contact Norman Air to set up an appointment! Our experts have you covered.