WHY THE CHANGE
Every six years the Department of Energy (DOE) reanalyzes the effects of energy usage, sets minimum efficiency requirements and manages the testing standards by which those efficiencies are measured. For 2023, the DOE is increasing the minimum efficiencies for central air conditioners and heat pumps. The testing procedures for determining those efficiencies will change as well.
2023 MINIMUM EFFICIENCY CHANGE
For 2023, the DOE has reanalyzed and adjusted minimums accordingly.
- For air conditioners in the North, the minimum efficiency will increase from 13.0 to 14.0 SEER and in the South from 14.0 to 15.0 SEER† under today’s test procedure.
†15.0 SEER up to 45k BTU, 14.5 SEER at/above 45k BTU
- The national heat pump minimum efficiency will increase from 14.0 to 15.0 SEER.
2023 Regulatory Changes
A NEW NORMAL IS COMING FOR 2023 – SEER2, EER2 AND HSPF2
In addition to increasing the minimum efficiency in 2023, HVAC manufacturers will also be required to comply with a new testing procedure for developing efficiency ratings. Compared to today’s test procedure, the external static pressure used when testing will be increased by up to 5X to better reflect field conditions (see graphic below). Since the new testing requirements are more stringent and reduce the resulting efficiency rating, in 2023, there will be new metrics and nomenclature – SEER2, EER2 and HSPF: Specifically, you will note the following:
- The new SEER2 ratings will be lower and the minimum efficiencies will be reduced to account for the more difficult test procedures, compared to the SEER ratings on the same system
-e.g. the North region’s 14.0 SEER minimum efficiency under the current test procedure will become a 13.4 SEER2 under the new test procedure.
- All tiers of products will need to be retested, optimized, and relaunched in accordance with the new test procedure – resulting in a much larger scale project for manufacturers compared to prior minimum efficiency changes.
- The new test procedure will also drive changes to the airflow set point on indoor blowers (fan coils and furnaces
AIR CONDITIONER RATINGS
The new 2023 minimum efficiency standards for air conditioners continue to follow the regional borders established in 2015: North, Southeast and Southwest. Additionally, the Southwest includes an EER/EER2 requirement. SEER and EER are ratings tested under the pre-2023 test procedure while SEER2 and EER2 are tested under the 2023 test procedure with higher external static pressures as detailed below.
- For the North Region, any 13.0 SEER AC built before January 1, 2023, can still be installed on or after January 1, 2023.
- For the Southeast and Southwest Regions, any AC that does not meet the above requirements cannot be installed on or after January 1, 2023.
HEAT PUMP RATINGS
Heat pump minimum efficiency requirements follow national standards. In 2023, the new minimum efficiency standards for heat pumps will increase by 1.0 SEER to 15.0 SEER. Split-system heat pumps must also achieve a minimum of 8.8 HSPF.
- Any 14.0 SEER heat pump built before January 1, 2023, can still be installed on or after January 1, 2023.
BREAKING DOWN THE NUMBERS
The 2023 efficiency standards represent a 7-8% SEER increase from current minimums across the board. Under the new program, roughly 70% of our current supplier products will NOT meet the minimum efficiency standards, and 100% of current products will need to be retested using the new procedures. The good news is we have been working with our suppliers for several years in anticipation of these changes and will be more than ready before the 2023 standards take effect on January 1, 2023.
At CHA we have committed to being ready for 2023!
We Will Be Ready!