Effective November 25, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has amended the test procedures for central air conditioners and heat pumps that are required for certification of compliance with applicable energy conservation standards starting January 1, 2023. The map shown above indicates the three separate regions defined by the DOE. Within each region there are minimum efficiency standards listed for each type of equipment. While it is the responsibility of manufacturers to comply and only produce products that meet these standards, it is important for homeowners and installers to understand and verify your equipment selections meet the minimum standard for the DOE region your state is in.
The changes made by the DOE are two-fold. Not only did the minimum efficiency ratings change as they do year-to-year, the entire set of test procedures changed as well to represent improvements that more accurately reflect field conditions. You will see this notated with a “2” at the end of each efficiency standard. Below is the translation:
- Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) [Btu/Wh] >> EER2
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) [Btu/Wh] >> SEER2
- Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) [Btu/Wh] >> HSPF2
Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps. Department of Energy, Final Rule, pub. 10/25/2022
10 CFR 429.16 Central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps. Department of Energy, Current regulation as of 11/25/2022.
10 CFR 430.32 Energy and water conservation standards and their compliance dates. Department of Energy, Current regulation as of 2/17/2023.