What Are the New Air Conditioning Standards for 2023?

In the Southeast and Southwest, the minimum Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for air conditioning units depends on their size. Units with a capacity of over 45,000 BTU require a minimum of 14.5 SEER, while split-system heat pumps require 15 SEER and 8.8 Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). Packaged heat pumps must have 14 SEER and 8 HSPF. If your current air conditioning system is in good condition and meets your heating and cooling needs, you don't need to replace it with a new one that meets the new industry standards.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the current SEER test method does not accurately simulate the effect of ducts and external static pressure on HVAC systems, making it less representative of actual operating conditions. When the system has reached the end of its useful life or the cost of repair exceeds the price of its replacement, it is time to consider purchasing new equipment that meets current standards. This is done by measuring the average Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) over a range of indoor and outdoor temperatures, and at different humidity levels, to simulate the development of an entire station. Most HVAC equipment, including central air conditioners and gas ovens, require significant amounts of electricity to operate.

Larger refrigeration units, such as mini-divisions and central air systems, use the SEER, which provides a more accurate assessment of their efficiency. Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipment will take a big step forward in terms of efficiency and respect for the environment next year in the United States. The federal government won't require you to replace your old heat pump or air conditioner when the minimum standards change next year. The Department of Energy (DOE) will raise minimum efficiency standards for air-powered heat pumps and central air conditioners starting next year. This change doesn't necessarily affect consumers, other than giving you a slightly better estimate of your potential energy consumption when buying new air conditioning equipment. Several manufacturers, including Carrier, will manufacture heat pumps and air conditioners compatible with the R-454b refrigerant.

On the contrary, the SEER presents a more complete measurement when determining efficiency throughout the cooling season, through a fluctuating range of temperatures and humidity levels. However, consumers and contractors who want to install a new air conditioner, heat pump, or any of the appliances listed above next year must meet the new SEER2 minimum ratings. The higher lows are based on a new Department of Energy testing standard, which takes into account new external static pressure conditions to better reflect real-world conditions.

Marian Burrier
Marian Burrier

Infuriatingly humble social media maven. Subtly charming tv specialist. Devoted food expert. Extreme social media nerd. Hardcore music scholar. Infuriatingly humble pop culture fanatic.

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