2024 SEER Ratings: What To Know About the New HVAC Efficiency Standards

Hopkins repair technician working on an outdoor AC unit

Rising utility bills are a common problem throughout Florida, and many homeowners are shocked to discover just how much more it costs to cool their homes this year than last. While you can’t control utility rates, you can invest in an energy-efficient cooling system to reduce utility usage.

To that end, it’s important to understand SEER ratings and the latest requirements to select a suitable air conditioning system for your home, condo, or apartment. There were some significant changes this past year, and the team at Hopkins Air Conditioning can help you navigate your options to find the right one.


What Are HVAC Energy Efficiency Standards?

Seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER, ratings began in the early 1990s. Overseen by the Department of Energy, these standards measure the efficiency of your air conditioning system over the summer. The higher your rating, the more energy-efficient the central air conditioner, ductless mini-split, heat pump, etc.

SEER ratings are similar to energy efficiency ratio, or EER, ratings. The EER measures the cooling capacity of your system by comparing the cooling output in British Thermal Units (BTU) versus energy input in watts. As with SEER ratings, the higher the ratio, the more energy-efficient the system.

Where SEER considers a range of temperatures and humidity, EER is more general and applies to the anticipated climate, i.e., hot, dry, cold, coastal, etc. Thus, both are good measurements, but it’s important to understand their differences when reviewing potential AC replacements so you can choose a system best-suited for our climate in Florida.

What’s Changed From 2023?

The biggest changes were in relation to testing conditions, data values, and the metrics used to assess installed systems’ performance accurately. Referred to as SEER2, EER2, and HSPF2, the updated standards are more stringent and designed to create a more accurate test result.

All HVAC systems sold or installed in the U.S. must comply with the updated standards. In addition to these standards, new air-source heat pumps must have a minimum of 8.8 HSPF. All new furnaces must have an AFUE of 81% or greater. Standards for single-package heat pumps remain unchanged.

It’s important to note that non-compliant air conditioners cannot be sold/installed in West Palm Beach and the southern region. However, you can still purchase and install non-compliant heat pumps if the unit was manufactured before Jan. 1, 2023.

Minimum SEER Ratings for 2024

For 2024, the minimum SEER ratings for the southeast and the northern region are as follows:

AC <45,000 BTU/hr

14 SEER / 13.4 SEER2

15 SEER / 14.3 SEER2

AC >45,000 BTU/hr

14 SEER / 13.4 SEER2

14.5 SEER / 13.8 SEER2

Split-System Heat Pump

15 SEER / 14.3 SEER2

15 SEER / 14.3 SEER2

Single-Package Heat Pump



Further, it’s important to remember that the Inflation Reduction Act offers considerable tax credits for purchasing and installing energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. However, to qualify, homeowners must select systems that are ENERGY STAR®-certified and exceed these SEER2, EER2, and HSPF2 minimums:

  • Split system AC: 16 SEER2
  • Packaged AC: 15.2 SEER2 and 11.5 EER2
  • Ducted split heat pump: 15.2 SEER2, 7.8 HSPF2, and 11.7 EER2
  • Packaged heat pump: 15.2 SEER2, 7.2 HSPF2, and 10.6 EER2
  • Mini-split system: 16 SEER2, 9 HSPF2, and 12 EER2

Why Choose Hopkins Air Conditioning?

At Hopkins Air Conditioning, our licensed and insured HVAC technicians maintain the up-to-date knowledge required to ensure your comfort and the maximum energy efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. We proudly serve clients throughout Palm Beach County and will help you find superior solutions for your desired comfort and budget.

Contact Hopkins Air Conditioning to learn more about the 2024 SEER efficiency standards and to schedule a service in West Palm Beach, FL, today.

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