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DOE Announces New Efficiency Standards for AC Units and Heat Pumps

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Codes + Standards

DOE Announces New Efficiency Standards for AC Units and Heat Pumps

New minimum efficiency standards for air conditioners and heat pumps will go into effect on January 1, 2023

May 26, 2022
Outdoor air conditioning units
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Starting January 1, 2023, new minimum efficiency standards for air conditioners and heat pumps will be put into effect by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in accordance with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, NAHB reports. The updated standards will mean that outdated equipment will be phased out, and the January 1 deadline will also apply to the installation of air conditioning systems in new builds across the Southeast and Southwest. The new efficiency standards will be referred to as SEER2 and EER2, replacing the current SEER and EER designations for AC units and heat pumps.

Because the indoor and outdoor units must be paired to achieve the rated system efficiency, but can be installed at different stages of construction, it’s important that HVAC contractors and builders plan accordingly to meet the January 1 installation deadline. The installation deadline applies only to the AC units (not to heat pumps and not to other specialty systems). The installation deadline does not apply to the North region for any equipment.

The new efficiency standards do not affect furnaces or water heaters.

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