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Updated SEER Regulations for HVAC Installations in Virginia

HVAC heating and air conditioning units

If you’re considering a new HVAC system for your Virginia home in the near future, it’s important to understand how new energy-efficiency ratings introduced by the U.S. Department of Energy may impact your purchase. 

The minimum SEER rating for air conditioning systems has increased as of January 1, 2023, plus a new SEER2 rating has been introduced. Similarly, minimum HSPF and AFUE ratings have also increased.

What Is a SEER Rating?

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it represents the amount of energy used compared to the cooling output of an air conditioner over the entire cooling season. Higher numbers indicate a more efficient air conditioner. The rating system was developed to make it easy for consumers to compare HVAC equipment from different manufacturers, and the SEER ratings can be found on the yellow Energy Guide sticker that accompanies new HVAC systems.

A new SEER2 rating system has also been introduced, which better reflects the real-world performance of HVAC equipment, and as of January 1, 2023, it will be replacing the SEER rating on new Energy Guide stickers. SEER2 ratings will be slightly lower than SEER ratings, with an air conditioner rated at 14, earning a 13.4 SEER2 rating.

For heat pumps, energy efficiency is reflected by the heating seasonal performance factor or HSPF, with higher numbers indicating more efficient performance. A new HSPF2 raging has also been introduced for 2023. For furnaces and boilers, efficiency is represented by the annual fuel utilization efficiency rating or AFUE, which indicates the percentage of fuel tuned directly into heat.

What SEER Rating Is Required for New HVAC Systems in Virginia?

As part of the Southeast region, any new HVAC systems installed in Virginia homes after January 1, 2023, must meet the following standards:

  • New air conditioners must have a SEER rating of 15 or higher or a SEER2 rating of 14.3 or higher. Previously, the minimum was 14 SEER.
  • New heat pump installations must be a minimum of 15 SEER or 14.3 SEER2 in cooling mode, and 8.8 HSPF or 7.5 HSPF2 in heating mode.
  • New furnaces must have an AFUE of 81%, up from 80%.
  • Finally, single-packaged HVAC systems must be a minimum of 14 SEER or 13.4 SEER2 in cooling mode, and 8.0 HSPF or 6.7 HSPF2 in heating mode.

These increases in efficiency may raise installation costs slightly, but monthly heating and cooling costs over the system’s life will be lower.

Heating & Air Conditioning Replacements in Northern Virginia

When it is time to upgrade your HVAC system in Virginia, talk to our John Nugent & Sons team. We have over 45 years of industry experience and offer heating and air conditioning replacements and new installations throughout Northern Virginia.

We are a family-owned and -operated company that prioritizes customer service. We feature experienced, professional technicians who receive constant, ongoing education to stay current on the latest technology and procedures.

To request your FREE estimate for a heating or air conditioning replacement in Virginia, call (703) 291-1926 today or contact John Nugent & Sons online.

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