Efficiency Ratings: Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding different HVAC terminology and efficiency ratings and regulations can help homeowners make better decisions about their HVAC system. Here are a few frequently asked questions about efficiency standards for air conditioners and heat pumps.

What is a SEER rating?

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER is the ratio of total heat removed from the conditioned space during the annual cooling season divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the air conditioner during the same season. The higher the SEER rating, the less energy used by the air conditioner to cool the home.

What is a SEER2 Rating?

A SEER2 is also a measure of HVAC efficiency, but it is measured differently than SEER. A SEER2 rating measures the energy efficiency under test conditions that more accurately represent real world scenarios of installed air conditioners. Typically, SEER2 ratings will be around .5 lower than SEER ratings. Beginning with the efficiency standard changes on January 1, 2023, efficiency standards will be expressed in SEER2 ratings instead of SEER.

Why Is An Energy Efficiency Rating Important?

HVAC systems with a higher SEER rating reduce carbon emissions and have a positive impact on the environment. Equipment with a higher SEER or SEER2 rating will also help homeowners save money on utility bills.

Why Are SEER Requirements Higher In North Carolina?

Air conditioning in southern states is used more frequently due to the significantly higher outside temperatures during the warm months in spring, summer, and fall. As a result of increased use, there is a higher impact on the environment. As a result, the Department of Energy (DOE) places more stringent regulations on residential HVAC equipment in these areas.

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