2023 HVAC Regulation Changes & What They Mean for Minnesota Homeowners
Posted On: November 28, 2022
Changes are coming to HVAC efficiency regulations in the new year, and homeowners in Minnesota and other northern states should know how the new efficiency standards will affect them.
Beginning January 1, 2023, HVAC systems must meet new minimum efficiency standards for heating, cooling, testing, and certification. Any new HVAC systems installed in Minnesota on or after January 1 must comply with these new regulations.
How is HVAC Efficiency Measured?
Before we get into the details, let’s first look at how energy efficiency is measured:
SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio ratings, measure an air conditioning unit’s efficiency over an entire cooling season. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient a unit is.
The new SEER2 rating you’ll now see on HVAC equipment describes how much energy an air conditioner uses annually. It’s measured by dividing the total energy required to run a unit by its total cooling capacity.
An EER rating is an objective measurement of an HVAC unit’s efficiency. The higher the EER rating, the more efficient the equipment is.
Like the SEER2 rating, the new EER2 value reflects new data, more accurate performance metrics, and more realistic testing conditions.
The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor measures a heat pump’s efficiency. It’s calculated by dividing the BTUs used during a heating season by the electricity used to create the output.
The new HSPF2 rating that goes into effect on January 1, 2023, uses the same formula but has more stringent testing conditions.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratings apply to gas furnaces. It’s measured as a percentage, so the closer it is to 100%, the greater the efficiency and energy savings potential.
British Thermal Units are the international energy measurement, representing the heat needed to raise 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
For air conditioners, BTU measures the quantity of heat a unit can remove from a room in one hour.
What Are the New HVAC Regulations?
You’ve probably seen the EnergyGuide sticker when shopping for appliances. It tells you how much energy the system uses and how it compares to the energy use of similar units.
It’s important to remember when checking labels that even if an energy-efficient system is more expensive, it’s an investment that will help save you money on your utility costs over time.
Minnesota is designated as part of the northern region of the U.S. This region’s new minimum SEER efficiency guidelines include:
- Residential air conditioning systems must meet or exceed 13.4 SEER2 — equivalent to 14 SEER.
- Heat pumps must meet 14.3 SEER2 (15.0 SEER) and 7.5 HSPF2 (8.8 HSPF) requirements.
- Gas furnace rating standards will be 81% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) for all regions.
Each system’s date of manufacture determines compliance with the new regulations, so you can still purchase 13 SEER systems through the end of 2022 as long as your HVAC company has them in stock.
Keep in mind that the SEER2 standards apply to new systems only and do not affect your current system.
How Do the New Efficiency Standards Benefit Me?
About every six years, the Department of Energy evaluates energy conservation for most major home appliances.
Pricing and efficiency increases go hand in hand, so you should upgrade your air conditioner or heat pump now if you’re due for a new unit or start saving if you have more time before you need a replacement.
Though new equipment is expected to be more expensive, homeowners benefit from:
- Higher-quality equipment that will last longer
- Lower utility bills
- Positive environmental impact
If you’re considering replacing your HVAC system with a new, more energy-efficient model, Genz-Ryan Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical can help you choose the best system for your needs.
Choose Genz-Ryan for Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems & Quality Installation
You are not required to install new HVAC equipment to meet the 2023 SEER2 regulations. But if your home’s existing AC unit or heat pump is aging out or not performing as efficiently as it once was, consider investing in a more energy-efficient model.
Talk to the experts at Genz-Ryan today about whether the time is right to replace your HVAC equipment. We offer flexible financing options and high-quality services that Twin Cities homeowners trust.
Contact us online or call (612) 223-6158 to schedule an AC or heat pump replacement in Minneapolis-St. Paul.