Everything There Is to Know About the SEER Rating Mandate

Everything There Is to Know About the SEER Rating Mandate

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Everything There Is to Know About the SEER Rating Mandate

What You Need to Know About Changing SEER Rating Mandate

In 1987 the Department of Energy established air conditioning SEER ratings, which are used by the HVAC industry as the standard to measure an air conditioning unit’s overall efficiency. The SEER rating or seasonal energy efficiency ratio of an air conditioner is important for homeowners to know when they’re considering an HVAC system upgrade.

In 1992, former President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act establishing a SEER rating of 10 as the minimum SEER rating criterion. Over the years, as HVAC technology and efficiencies have improved, the minimum SEER standard has increased; and, the higher the SEER, the more efficient the cooling unit. A unit with a higher SEER is also typically more expensive.

Starting in January 2023, another change is coming for SEER rating standard. For the first time, different SEER rating requirements based on the geographic location of the installation will become the norm. The SEER rating mandate will require for new air-source heat pump systems and central air conditioning units sold in the northern U.S. In the south, where air conditioners are used more heavily, the required SEER will be 15.


Since a higher SEER means a cooling unit is more efficient, homeowners will generally save on utility costs if the one they purchase has a higher one. The SEER rating reveals how much electricity an air conditioner will use to reach the desired level of cooling. There’s a 10 percent decrease in electric usage with each increase in the numerical SEER rating. For example, a 14 SEER cooling unit will use 10 percent less energy to operate than a 13 SEER unit.

Other factors to consider are whether you plan to sell your home soon after upgrading your air conditioner; the length of the cooling season; and, if you’re one who prefers your indoor climate to be on the warmer side. 

If selling your home is in the near future, you’ll likely not recoup the return on your investment to make a higher SEER unit worthwhile. Since summer temperatures on the Western Slope tend to be milder, a higher SEER rating may not be what you need.

Learn More About the SEER Rating Mandate

Climate Control Company has the knowledge and expertise you need to make an informed decision about the SEER rating for your air conditioning upgrade. Call our office today to schedule an in-home consultation at no out-of-pocket cost to you.