When it comes to energy efficiency for HVAC, SEER has been the gold standard. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. In simple terms, SEER is the average energy efficiency of your HVAC systems over the course of the seasons. The higher the score, the more energy efficient your unit is.
The Department of Energy sets the minimum SEER required for each region of the US. In Florida, the minimum was 14, but effective Jan 1, 2023, a new set of requirements has been released. Along with higher minimums, they have introduced SEER2.
What Has Changed?
The two major things that have changed are increasing the required score for SEER and introducing SEER2 testing.
In order to improve sustainability and reduce the stress on power grids, the Department of Energy is requiring a higher minimum SEER across the US. These new minimums still use the old system of SEER, so you don’t have to worry about adjusting for SEER2.
Eventually, SEER will become obsolete as SEER2 replaces it. The main difference is SEER2 changes the static pressure testing by a factor of 5. Simply, SEER2 will be lower than their SEER counterparts, but they will more accurately reflect conditions in real-world performance.
How Does It Affect North Florida?
While making SEER2 the new standard is nationwide, the SEER minimum requirements vary by region. Florida falls under the southeastern region.
If you’ve lived in Gainesville or Jacksonville for an extended period of time, then you know just how hot and long our summers can be. For this reason, the Department of Energy has the strictest requirements for regions with this sort of climate due to the higher amounts of energy used.
The new requirements for Florida or the southeastern region are as follows:
- For AC split systems:
- SEER minimum of 15 (14.3 SEER2) if the capacity falls below 45k BTU (1.5-3.5 Ton)
- If it has a capacity of 45k BTU (4-5 Ton) or more, then the minimum requirement is 14.5 (13.8 SEER2)
- For heat pump split systems, SEER minimum of 15 (14.3 SEER2)
- For all packaged systems, SEER minimum of 14 (13.4 SEER2)
If your central AC or heat pump falls below these minimums, you may want to consider installing a new unit to remain in compliance.
Get Ahead of the DEO’S Requirements with Comfort Temp
All these new requirements, testing standards, and energy metrics may feel overwhelming without guidance. That’s why Comfort Temp is here to help the residents of Gainesville and Jacksonville navigate these new regulations.
Our team of HVAC experts has spent years providing quality service all while meeting the DOE’s requirements. Leave the worries of maintaining your HVAC unit’s efficiency, cooling, and regulatory compliance to us, so you can focus on what matters most. If you have any questions about how these updates may affect your HVAC, call our team today!