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Recognizing 2023’s New HVAC Guidelines

The United States DOE (Department of Energy) has ordered new HVAC guidelines that came into effect on January 1st, 2023. These comprehensive modifications will impact all HVAC equipment manufactured after January 2023, and contractors offering cooling and heating installation in Atlanta need to be prepared. 

In addition, the 2023 HVAC benchmarks, including the new refrigerant and Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio 2 (SEER2) ratings and requirements, will raise the prices of new machines by approximately 15% to 25% and greatly impact replacement plans for many homeowners. 

Understanding the Key Changes in New HVAC Guidelines 

Below are the two major changes in the new heating and cooling guidelines that will be enforced from January 2023. 

  • More Focus on SEER2 

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio2, commonly known as SEER2, is the United States Department of Energy’s new benchmark for estimating the efficiency of central air conditioning and heating systems starting in 2023. In addition, the new SEER2 testing methods aim to assess the impact of ductwork and outer static force on heating and cooling products. 

The SEER2 testing and ratings approach strives to facilitate efficiency and make air conditioning and heating systems more eco-friendly. Besides, SEER2 will raise the equipment’s complicated replacement programs and expenses.

Furthermore, SEER2 guidelines can differ by area of the nation for some kinds of devices yet are standard across the country for others. For example, minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratings for air conditioning devices will rise from 13 to 14 in the northern United States and 14 to 15 in the two Southern areas. On the other hand, the minimum efficiency rating for heat pumps will rise from 14 to 15 nationwide.

All heating and cooling devices must comply with these new guidelines, including split-system heat pumps, split-system air conditioning units, and packaged air conditioning appliances manufactured after January 2023.

Nevertheless, in some parts of India, equipment manufactured under the old guideline can still be installed after January 2023, depending on the sell-through deadline in that area and the type of system.

  • New Refrigerants Will Become More Prevalent

Besides SEER2 ratings and testing procedures, new refrigerants will be fixed for heating and cooling devices under the 2023 HVAC guidelines. The prevalent refrigerant in residential air conditioning devices for a decade has been a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) specified R-410a.

Nevertheless, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has considered HFCs, including R-410a, as primary contributors to increasing global warming and is clearing them out over the following 15 years. 

Moreover, the new refrigerant R-454b will substitute R-410a as the benchmark for residential heating and cooling devices and will be mandated for all new machines manufactured after January 2023. 

While more environmentally-friendly than R-410a, R-454b, it is more expensive and dangerous, so extra care is required to guarantee safety. 

Current machines operating on R-410a do not need to be substituted under the 2023 guidelines and can be utilized until the end of their useful life. Though any machine manufactured in 2023 or later must operate on R-454b.


If you are planning an installation, maintenance, or air conditioner repair in Atlanta, our expert technicians at Maintenance Unlimited Heating & Cooling can be your perfect partner. To know more, call us at (404) 948-6883.