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How the 2023 SEER Standards Will Impact HVAC

Explaining SEER2 & What It Means for Homeowners

Cranney technician discussing air conditioner options with a homeowner.

Before you schedule an HVAC installation or replacement in the new year, homeowners need to be aware of the changing SEER standards. In this blog, we offer a complete guide on everything you need to know about the 2023 SEER standards, including:

  • What is SEER2, and why does it matter?
  • How will 2023 SEER standards affect your home’s HVAC system?
  • How to check your SEER rating
  • The phase-out of R-410a and what it means

As a homeowner, you may know that your home HVAC equipment contains an energy-efficiency rating. What you may not realize, however, is that these efficiency standards are required to change every few years. In 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy’s new SEER2 rating system will take effect, which may affect your plans for an HVAC installation or replacement in the new year.

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What Is SEER2 & Why Does It Matter?

SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Put simply, this is how the efficiency of your heating and air conditioning equipment is measured. The higher the rating, the less energy your unit consumes in order to keep your home comfortable.

Energy-efficiency ratings are set forth by the U.S. Department of Energy. Every few years, it works to identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption by reviewing:

  • Current technology
  • Testing procedures
  • HVAC system requirements

Starting January 1, 2023, the SEER rating system will change and provide a new set of requirements for heating and cooling systems. These requirements will only apply to HVAC units that are manufactured or installed after the new year.

How Will 2023 SEER Standards Affect Your Home HVAC?

Efficiency standards for each system are decided by region. In Massachusetts, we are in the northern region. To satisfy new requirements, residential HVAC systems in the area will need to change in the following ways:

System Type

Required SEER2 & HSPF2

Central Air Conditioning


Heat Pumps

14.3 SEER2, 7.5 HSPF2

It’s important to note that any system built prior to January 1, 2023, may still be sold and installed under the updated guidance. So, if you’re looking to replace your heat pump or air conditioner, now may be the perfect time before prices hike in the new year due to higher efficiency needs. However, it's important to consider all your options. Choosing a system with a lower SEER may place you at a disadvantage for several reasons, including:

  • Higher utility bills: Systems with a lower SEER won’t be as efficient, meaning your monthly comfort expenses will be higher.
  • Lower home value: If you plan on selling your home in the near future, a low-efficiency HVAC system could decrease the value of your property.

How To Check Your SEER Rating

All HVAC equipment comes with a yellow and black “Energy Guide” sticker that highlights its SEER rating. If you do not see this sticker on your machine, you may be able to find its SEER rating by referring to your owner’s manual or researching the exact year, make, and model online.

Phasing Out R-410A

Another significant change that will be coming to the HVAC industry is the slowdown on manufacturing and importation of R-410a, a commonly used refrigerant in air conditioners. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that R-410a is dangerous for the environment, with a high global warming potential. As such, the EPA is looking to cut down the manufacturing and importation of this refrigerant by 85% in the next 15 years.

Starting in 2023, air conditioning systems will instead use a safer refrigerant, R-454b. This refrigerant has a lower global warming potential, making refrigerant leaks less of a danger.

If you recently replaced your AC, there’s no need to worry. R-410a will still be available, just no new systems with R-410a can be installed moving forward.

Call Cranney Home Services Today

If you’re planning for an HVAC installation, Cranney Home Services can help. We offer a broad selection of top-quality heating and cooling systems suitable for virtually every home size, comfort preference, and budget. Our team is comprised of expert HVAC technicians, and we can walk you through all your options and explain how SEER2 may affect you.

Contact our team at (978) 750-6900 to schedule HVAC installation or replacement today! We provide FREE estimates on heating and AC system replacements.

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