The energy efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment is a critical concern if you’re a Brick Township, NJ, resident. Not only does an efficient air conditioner or heat pump save money, but it can also help reduce environmental impact.
The U.S. Department of Energy establishes minimum efficiency requirements for air conditioners and heat pumps, also known as Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) requirements. The 2023 SEER requirements are significantly different than previous years’ rules. Eastern Shore Heating and Air Conditioning, the most experienced HVAC contractors in Brick Township, NJ, explains these changes and what they mean for local home and business owners looking to upgrade their equipment.
What’s New in 2023 SEER Regulations
The 2023 SEER requirements include two major changes to help reduce carbon emissions from air conditioners, heat pumps, and ductless mini-splits. First, the new rules increase the minimum efficiency ratings for every region. Second, they introduce SEER2, a new method of ensuring energy efficiency.
The new requirements from the Department of Energy also increase the minimum threshold for heat, or the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF.) Because the current SEER and HSPF guidelines date back to 2010, most units currently in use in Brick Township are not likely to meet the updated requirements, even if they comply with the 2010 guidelines. Although the new standards do not mandate replacing existing equipment, they apply if you plan to invest in a new air conditioner or heat pump this year.
The New Energy-Efficiency Standards for Air Conditioners
The Department of Energy divides the country into three regions (Northern, Southeast, and Southwest) for purposes of SEER ratings. The new requirements increase minimum energy efficiency by 8% to 10%, depending on the region. New Jersey is in the Northern Region.
2023 SEER requirements mandate an increase from a minimum 13 SEER rating to a 14 SEER rating in New Jersey. This requirement applies to all air conditioners, including split systems. The Northern Region is the only region where HVAC companies can install equipment manufactured before January 1, 2023; property owners in all other regions can only install equipment manufactured after that date.
If your existing air conditioning system is a 13 SEER, upgrading to a 14 SEER will likely reduce your cooling costs by about 7%. If you already have a system that meets or exceeds the 2023 SEER requirements, upgrading will not make a measurable difference to efficiency.
Understanding the SEER2 Measurement
The second part of the new SEER regulations for this year is a change in the method for calculating efficiency. The upgraded SEER2 calculations better reflect actual operating conditions to more accurately gauge the system’s efficiency.
To calculate SEER, divide the energy the air conditioner or HVAC unit uses in an hour by the number of BTUs (British Thermal Units) of heat it removes from the air in that time. Because conditions vary, manufacturers test their products at various temperatures and humidity levels to determine their overall efficiency.
The SEER2 uses the same calculation but also accounts for static pressure, or the resistance to airflow. The higher the static pressure, the harder the air conditioner works to push air through the ducts and cool rooms. This means the unit has to stay on longer, using more energy.
The SEER2 calculation increases the standard static pressure from 0.1 to 0.5, which better reflects normal operating conditions. The minimum SEER2 rating for an air conditioner in Brick Township is 13.8, which is equivalent to SEER 14.
Heat Pump Requirements
As mentioned, the efficiency requirements for heat pumps also changed in 2023. Starting this year, the minimum HSPF rating for a heat pump increases to 8.8 HSPF from 8.2 HSPF.
This is also the first year for HSPF2, which also accounts for static pressure. The minimum HSPF2 rating for a heat pump is 7.5.
Talk to Eastern Shore Heating and Air Conditioning About Upgrading Your HVAC
If your air conditioner is reaching the end of its lifespan and you’re thinking about replacing it with a more energy-efficient option, turn to Eastern Shore Heating and Air Conditioning for Brick Township’s most reliable air conditioning services. We can help you compare options that meet 2023 SEER requirements and install the most energy-efficient equipment to ensure indoor comfort and lower utility bills.
To learn more about minimum efficiency requirements and get a free estimate for a new air conditioner, heat pump, or other HVAC equipment, fill out our convenient online form. You can also speak to a team member by calling (732) 800-9416.