SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. SEER2 is an updated version of SEER for air conditioners and heat pumps, effective Jan. 1, 2023.
SEER2 measures air conditioner and heat pump cooling efficiency, which is calculated by taking the cooling output for a typical cooling season and dividing it by the total electric energy input during the same time frame.
The new SEER2 metric utilizes a new M1 blower testing procedure. The updated testing procedure more accurately reflects real world conditions for HVAC systems by changing the static pressure used in the testing lab from 0.1” w.g to 0.5” w.g. by up to 5 times. New testing procedures change the minimum energy efficiency required for cooling and heating systems.
A higher SEER2 rating means greater energy efficiency. The minimum standard SEER2 rating for air conditioners varies by region in the United States. In the North, all types of air conditioners must have a SEER2 of 13.4 or higher.
In the Southeast and Southwest, SEER2 ratings depend on type of air conditioner and capacity. Split system air conditioners throughout the Southeast and Southwest must have a SEER2 rating of 14.3 or higher if they have a capacity less than 45k BTU, and 13.8 or higher SEER2 if they have a capacity greater than or equal to 45k BTU.
Split system heat pumps must have a SEER2 of 14.3 or higher in all regions, and single-packaged air conditioners and heat pumps in all regions must have a SEER2 of 13.4 or higher. Plus, the efficiency of your system can also depend on the size of your home, your current ductwork and other variables.
It’s tough to give a quick answer because a good SEER2 rating depends on several factors unique to each home including location, size and what you’re looking for in a heating and cooling system. Since SEER2 ratings vary, it’s important to talk to your Trane Comfort Specialist™ and discuss what SEER2 rating you need to get the comfort and energy savings you want.
A higher SEER2 rating will mean a higher level of comfort and lower monthly energy costs, but the upfront cost of the unit will likely be higher. Higher SEER2 units tend to come with features like multi-stage cooling, which means the unit will stay on more frequently instead of starting and stopping. If you live somewhere with high humidity, or if some rooms in your house are cold while others are hot, a higher SEER2 unit with this feature will make you much more comfortable.
If you live in a mild climate where humidity isn’t an issue, you may consider a lower SEER2 unit a better option as it will save you money on the installation. If you do go with a lower SEER2 unit, make sure you look into the updated minimum SEER2 requirements for your region. Your HVAC technician should be able to recommend a unit that meets those requirements.
Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER2) measures the energy efficiency of your air conditioner or heat pump as it cools at the outdoor temperature of 95°F. The higher the EER2, the more efficient the system.
HSPF2, or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, measures a heat pump’s overall energy efficiency throughout the entire heating season (fall and winter). The higher the HSPF2 rating, the more efficient the heat pump.
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