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Overview of the New SEER2 Requirements: A Brief Guide 


Posted by Spencer | April 20, 2023 | Reading Time:

If you're planning to install a new air conditioning system or air-source heat pump in your Phoenix area home, choosing the most energy-efficient model is a priority. As energy costs continue to rise and concerns about climate change take center stage, property owners have a responsibility to ensure their HVAC systems meet the most current efficiency standards. 

Manufacturers use the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) to indicate the energy efficiency of their products. As of 2023, they must adhere to the SEER2 requirements, which raise the minimum threshold for efficiency and change the calculation method. 

Rainforest Plumbing & Air is your trusted local expert in these new requirements. When you choose them for air conditioning or heat pump installation in Phoenix, AZ, you can trust that your equipment meets the most current SEER rating regulations. Call us today at 480-360-5278 to learn more about upgrading your heating and cooling system to save money and reduce your environmental impact. 

What to Expect from the SEER and SEER2 Rules 

In 2015, the Department of Energy established separate SEER ratings for different regions of the U.S. According to the guidelines, Arizona is part of the Southwest region, which has some of the most stringent requirements due to our hot and dry climate. 

According to the new SEER requirements for air conditioners and split-system heat pumps (meaning systems that provide both heating and cooling), the minimum SEER rating is now 15, up from the previous minimum of 14. The SEER2 requirements, which use a different calculation method, are 14.3 for a residential system above 45,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) and 13.8 for systems below 45,000 BTU. 

Heat pumps use a different efficiency designation, the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). The HSPF also received an update for 2023, and the new HSPF2 requirement for heat pumps is 7.5.

If you purchase a split-system heat pump, it must meet both the SEER and HSPF and SEER2 and HSPF2 requirements.

Calculating SEER2 Ratings 

Manufacturers calculate the SEER ratings of an air conditioner by dividing the amount of heat it removes from the air during the cooling season (expressed in BTUs) by the total electric energy input (energy usage) in watts. 

The upgraded SEER2 ratings use a different calculation to better reflect operating conditions and ensure a 1% increase in baseline efficiency. This means the SEER2 and HSPF2 ratings are lower than the equivalent SEER and HSPF ratings.

Do I Have to Replace My HVAC Equipment?

If your existing air conditioning system or heat pump does not meet the new energy efficiency requirement, you do not have to replace it immediately. Manufacturers are phasing out units that don't meet the new standards, and anything produced after January 1, 2023, adheres to the new rules. 

Rainforest Plumbing & Air only installs heating and cooling equipment that complies with SEER2 requirements. In the Southwestern Region, retailers and contractors can no longer sell or install equipment that doesn't meet the new standards. Per the rules, we shipped existing inventory to partners in the Northern Region, where the new standards only apply after the installation date, not the manufacturing date. 

This means that if you decide to upgrade your existing system, you can rest assured that it meets the most stringent requirements for energy efficiency. If your current system is over ten years old, consider upgrading sooner rather than later to ensure you have the most up-to-date and efficient equipment on the market. Repairing and maintaining older equipment will likely become increasingly challenging and expensive as manufacturers phase out non-compliant models and their parts. 

Let Rainforest Plumbing & Air Upgrade Your Heating and Cooling System 

If you are considering a new air conditioner or heat pump, building a new property, or want to learn more about efficient heating and cooling options, get in touch with the experts at Rainforest Plumbing & Air. Our knowledgeable team can evaluate your current system and recommend an affordable, energy-efficient replacement that meets or exceeds SEER2 requirements. Whether you need air conditioner or heat pump repairs, new equipment installation, or help with plumbing concerns like leaky pipes, the experts at Rainforest Plumbing & Air are one call away. As the Phoenix Metro area's top-rated plumber and HVAC contractor, we're the go-to source for local home and business owners looking to cut their energy bills and stay comfortable under the Arizona sun. Call our licensed and insured crew today at 480-360-5278 to schedule an appointment and experience our five-star service for yourself. 

Author Bio:
Ike Tippetts

He founded the company and soon found himself answering phones and dispatching team members around the clock! Rainforest Plumbing & Air has come a long way since they started in 1999 as a two-truck operation. 

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