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March 2, 2023

What's the Difference Between SEER & SEER2?

What's the Difference Between SEER & SEER2?

SEER vs SEER2The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is employed as the standard measure to evaluate the effectiveness of central air conditioning systems. This ratio is obtained by dividing the total cooling capacity of a system during the normal period of operation by the total electric energy input during the same interval. This ratio can be expressed through an equation, wherein the British Thermal Units (BTUs) are divided by the watt-hours.

The increased SEER implies that less electricity is needed for a central A/C unit to operate. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has set a minimum level of efficiency of 13 SEER in the northern regions and 14 SEER in the southern areas. Generally, central A/C units are made to perform at or above these standards. When a central A/C unit has a SEER rating of 14 or more, it is eligible for the ENERGY STAR® certification, which is assigned to products that have exceptional efficiency in accordance with the current rating systems.


The key contrast between SEER and SEER2 is the testing conditions for each rating system. Even though these differences may appear like adjustments, they still generate different data values and necessitate a new rating system.

The Department of Energy (DOE) raised the total external static pressure testing conditions for SEER2. These pressure rules were increased to make the test conditions more like what a normal ducted system would realistically experience in the field.

The SEER testing conditions did not take into consideration the effect of ductwork on external static pressure. According to SEER protocols, the external static test pressure was often not sufficient to emulate real-world applications.

As the objective of SEER tests is to exemplify field conditions, DOE found that SEER2’s minimum static pressure necessity of 0.50 inches of water (in. wc.) is more probable to represent field conditions than SEER’s minimum static pressure requirement of 0.10 in. wc. TESP.

More Information About SEER2

SEER2 ratings will typically be a bit lower than SEER ratings for many systems. To illustrate, according to Jennifer Butsch from Emerson, an air conditioner with a SEER rating of 14 will likely have a SEER2 rating of around 13.4.

Subsequently, energy efficiency norms will be modified to take into account SEER2 standards. The Department of Energy proposed amendments to the energy conservation standards which would be based on SEER. The minimum SEER for A/C units in colder climates would go from 13 to 14, whilst the SEER for the south would go from 14 to 15. With regards to SEER2, you can expect a minimum of 13.4 SEER2 in the north, and 14.3 SEER2 in the south. This is applicable to central A/C units with cooling capacity of 45,000 BTUs per hour or less; figures may vary for other types of units and cooling capacities.

Labels on central A/C systems at present indicate their SEER rating and if they abide by energy conservation rules. Such labels are important for buyers to compare the efficiency of different units. In 2023, instead of SEER rating, the labels will show the SEER2 rating and compliance. The principal use of SEER2 is to improve the testing conditions, enabling consumers to get an exact and reliable understanding of the unit's efficiency. This could likely cause a shift in efficiency standards as well as the technologies used will have to adjust to those standards.

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