There was a significant change in the Department of Energy’s efficiency rating requirements for HVAC systems on January 1 of this year. The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) was transitioned to SEER2. This transition changed the efficiency requirements of cooling systems and impacted the HVAC industry in various ways. We want to make sure that you are kept up-to-date on what that means to you as a consumer and how that affects your current heating and cooling systems as well as future purchases.

What is a SEER Rating?

First of all, you may be asking what a SEER or SEER2 rating is. Years ago, the Department of Energy implemented SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), as the standard measure of efficiency for central air conditioning systems. This is the ratio of the cooling output of an air conditioner and heat pump over a typical cooling season, divided by the energy it uses in Watt-Hours.

What were the minimum SEER ratings in 2022 versus 2023?

Legislation passed in 1987, which took effect in 1992 required a minimum of a 10 SEER rating on new HVAC systems. Over the years, the SEER ratings have increased due to improvements in technology and performance. The SEER rating also differs by geographical region. The northern regions of the United States have a different SEER rating requirement than the southern states. In 2022, the minimum SEER rating for Northern regions was 13 SEER and 14 SEER for Southern regions. As of Jan 1, 2023, the minimum SEER ratings have increased to 14 and 15, respectively.

How do these new SEER regulations affect you as a consumer?

Some Pros and Cons of these new changes in SEER regulations


The new SEER2 AC requirements will increase the energy efficiency you receive from newer AC units and will translate into less money in the long run that you have to spend on cooling your home.


Due to COVID-19, there have already been issues with the HVAC supply chain. The new SEER2 regulations will make that issue even more difficult to address for HVAC companies.  This may mean a delay in getting new equipment.

Parts and repairs for older SEER 13 units will cost more with those parts being phased out.

New HVAC units with higher SEER ratings come with an increased price.

Call Hal Watson today at 281-367-2655 to get more information about new AC and heating units, repairs, and maintenance.