If you’re getting a new air conditioning unit, one of the most critical aspects is its SEER rating. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which measures how efficiently an air conditioner is cooling your house while consuming the least energy. Installing a new air conditioner in 2023 looks different because SEER2 ratings are the next evolution of SEER ratings for measuring AC efficiency. The higher the SEER2 rating, the more efficient the air conditioner.
Generally, HVAC professionals recommend installing a higher-efficiency air conditioner as it will save you money on operating costs in the long run. But how much more efficient is it, and is that difference worth it in Phoenix, AZ? How much money can you save?
In this article, we’ll explore:
Get the Right SEER2 Rating For Your Home with Arizona’s AC Experts: George Brazil
Contact George Brazil HVAC for a SEER2 recommendation that matches your needs and budget. We have the best prices on the most popular AC brands and models in the Phoenix area, from Trane to Carrier to Lennox. Not to mention, we also provide flexible financing options for our AC installations.
Difference Between SEER & SEER2 Ratings
The main difference between SEER and SEER2 ratings is how they are tested. The Department of Energy (DOE) will change testing conditions for HVAC products in 2023 to better match real-world operating conditions by including ductwork and external static pressure in the calculation.
SEER2 ratings all seem lower than old SEER ratings by 4.5%, but SEER2 air conditioners are all more energy efficient due to more effective testing procedures. Not to mention that federal manufacturing requirements for SEER ratings have increased, which we’ll cover in the next section.
All manufacturers must redesign their AC and heat pump systems to meet these new testing requirements starting in 2023, which means all cooling systems will now have a SEER2 rating.
Why Is the Minimum SEER2 Rating 14.3 in Phoenix?
Why do some sources list 13.4 as the lowest SEER2 rating, and others say 14.3? This is because the DOE has different minimum efficiency standards depending on the region.
Residential central air conditioner purchases and installations in Arizona and other Southwest states must have a SEER2 rating of 14.3, which equates to a SEER rating of 15. To compare, the 2022 minimum standard for Southwest ACs was a 14-SEER rating.
The minimum SEER2 requirement for Northern states is 13.4 (equates to a SEER rating of 14) due to homeowners in this region using their air conditioners less.
No matter the state you live in, any air conditioner you buy and install starting in 2023 will federally be required to be more efficient than what you could have purchased in 2022.
Essentially, the lowest SEER2 rating you can install in Arizona from 2023 onward is 14.3. The highest SEER2 rating is approximately 21.5.
Energy Savings & Benefits of 16.2 SEER2 ACs
A high-efficiency air conditioner has a SEER2 rating of at least 16.2, which equates to a SEER rating of 17. These high-efficiency ACs tend to cost more upfront to install, but they can save you money on operating costs in the long run.
The savings from a high-SEER2 system will typically pay for the installation cost. We usually recommend homeowners install a 16.2-SEER system over a 14.3-SEER one if they can afford to do so. It’s best to consult with a trained AC professional to receive a detailed, accurate SEER2 recommendation for your home.
We’ll be using 3-ton air conditioners as our example, as they are a popular size in Arizona. According to a SEER2 energy savings calculator, a 16.2 SEER2 3-ton AC will save you about 11.76% more than a 14.3-SEER2 3-ton AC per year.
The savings breakdown looks like this:
- $37.24 savings in 1 year
- $186.2 savings in 5 years
- $372.40 savings in 10 years
When the average Arizona residential cooling bill is $180/month during the summer, a higher-SEER air conditioner can save you a quarter of your electricity bills.
The below factors can affect your estimated energy savings, such as:
- How often is your AC maintained
- How long you’re planning to stay at your home
- The condition of your home’s ductwork
- The insulation levels of your home
- What temperatures you set your thermostat to
- And much more
A typical Arizona air conditioner lasts around 10-14 years on average. If you plan on living in your home for the full 14 years of the AC’s life, you will receive your return on investment in a higher-SEER AC.
Other benefits of a higher-efficiency AC include:
Get a Free Quote on a New SEER2 AC for Your Phoenix Home With George Brazil
George Brazil HVAC has been installing air conditioners in the Phoenix area since 1955. We’ll help you choose the right AC brand, model, and SEER2 rating for your home and budget.
From our 100% satisfaction guarantee to our Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Ethics, homeowners trust us for our honest recommendations and upfront pricing on all air conditioner installations. We also provide flexible financing options.