2023 Updated SEER Requirements for HVAC Systems

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite image between a hand photography and a 3D background.

Significant changes are coming to HVAC regulations in the next year. Beginning January 1, 2023, residential heating and cooling equipment, testing, and certification must meet new minimum efficiency standards. Any new HVAC systems installed in Ohio on or after January 1, 2023, must comply with these new regulations.

What Is SEER?

Before explaining the new rule’s details, let’s look at how we measure energy efficiency in the U.S.:

  1. An Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER rating, measures an HVAC unit’s efficiency. The higher a unit’s EER rating, the more efficient it is.
  2. A Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or a SEER rating, measures an AC unit’s efficiency over an entire cooling season. And again, the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit.

Other ratings we use are:

  1. British Thermal Units or BTUs. An international energy measurement, BTU calculates the heat needed to raise 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. In AC systems, BTUs measure the quantity of heat the air conditioner can remove from a room in one hour.
  2. An Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE rating measures gas furnaces’ efficiency and potential energy savings.
  3. The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF, measures a heat pump’s efficiency. It is calculated by dividing a season’s worth of BTUs by the electricity used to create the output. The new HSPF2 ratings will use the same formula; however, they’ll have more stringent test conditions.

One thing most experts agree on is that more efficient systems will cost consumers more. Investing in upgrades now before prices increase could save you significantly. Blind & Sons can help you choose the best and most energy-efficient system.

2023 SEER2 Updates in Ohio

Those yellow Energy Guide stickers or labels you see when shopping for home appliances tell you how much energy an appliance uses and how it compares to similar appliances. The new HVAC SEER2 ratings let you see how much energy and money a system uses annually.

In Ohio, the current minimum standard of 13 SEER will increase to 14 SEER for AC condensing units, heat pumps, gas furnaces, single-packaged units, split systems, and evaporator coils. However, while heat pumps are affected nationwide, split or ductless systems will experience regional increases.

The U.S. Department of Energy has designated Ohio as part of the “North Region.” New minimum SEER efficiency guidelines for this region include:

  • Residential cooling systems below 45,000 BTU: SEER rating of 13.4 (14 SEER).
  • Residential central AC systems 45,000 BTU and above: SEER rating of 14.
  • Heat pumps must meet 14.3 SEER2 (15 SEER) and 7.5 HSPF2 (8.8 HSPF) requirements.
  • Gas furnace rating standards will be 81% AFUE for all regions.

Regulation compliance is determined by each system’s date of manufacture. This means contractors will still be permitted to sell 13 SEER equipment until their inventories are depleted. Remember that the SEER2 standards apply to new systems only and don’t affect your current system.

Energy-Efficient Requirements in Ohio

Ohio’s energy-efficiency requirements are based on those established by The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the International Energy Conservation Code.

Why Choose Blind & Sons for Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems

What does this all mean to our customers? Two things you need to know are:

  1. You are not required to replace your old HVAC equipment to meet the new SEER2 guidelines.
  2. If your Barberton, Akron, or other Northeast Ohio-area home’s HVAC units are aging out or not performing as efficiently as they once did, you could save money by investing in more energy-efficient models now.

If you’re interested in learning more about the new SEER2 requirements or if you want to discuss replacing one or more of your HVAC system’s components, Blind & Sons can help. We’re a third-generation company that understands what our customers need. We’ll guide you on investing in greener products and services that save you money and energy while protecting our planet.

Contact us online or call us at (330) 753-7711 to request services.

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