New SEER Values Bring Change To Home A/C and Heat Pump Ratings

If you plan to purchase or install an air conditioning unit or heat pump after 2022, you might need to pay a little closer attention to its seasonal energy efficiency ratio or SEER rating.

We at TempControl stay current with all the latest heating and cooling equipment and requirements and can further explain what this might mean for you in detail.


The seasonal energy efficiency ratio that guides manufacturers and consumers has been updated. The new testing standard will be called “SEER2,” and it takes effect in 2023.

SEER describes the cooling capacity of an HVAC unit during normal hours of operation divided by how much electricity it uses in that same time frame.

The higher SEER value indicates a more efficient system; therefore, lower energy bills.

The U.S. Department of Energy has changed the way it determines SEER ratings to reflect a more real-world working environment.

The ratings for residential air conditioners vary by region. People in Middlesex, Union, Monmouth, and all other counties in New Jersey are part of the northern region. The minimum standard for a SEER2 rating will be raised from 13 to 14 for A/C units.

Heat pump efficiency ratings, measured in HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) will be raised nationally from 8.2 to 8.8 HSPF.

What this means for HVAC in NJ

If your current system doesn’t meet the new standard, you don’t have to do a thing. Again, this only matters for people who are planning to install or purchase a unit AFTER Dec. 31, 2022.

While these updated numbers seem like small tweaks, the Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute calculates that the new ratings will create at least 7 percent in savings for consumers.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that residences could “collectively save $2.5 billion to $12.2 billion on energy bills during the 30-year period following implementation of the standards.”

These manufacturing standards have been in place since 2015. Almost any unit you would consider purchasing will likely meet the SEER minimum standard. And also, you can purchase units with higher SEER ratings. They will simply cost more but deliver more efficiency and better energy savings than a unit with the minimum rating.

One key difference between the different regions in the country is that here in New Jersey is we follow the DATE of MANUFACTURE for the unit versus the DATE of INSTALLATION in the southeast and southwest regions.

This allows contractors in New Jersey more leeway to install units with older SEER standards that were manufactured BEFORE Jan. 1, 2023. And it might be a way for a consumer to find a bargain air conditioner.

But if you’re truly concerned about helping the environment, easing your energy costs, and improving the resale value of your home, you’d want to install equipment that meets or exceeds the minimum SEER or HSPF standards.

Let the professionals at TempControl guide you through the process of buying a new air conditioner or heat pump. And if you’re thinking about replacing that older unit, let us help you sort out these new regulations and find the unit that’s right for your home and your budget.