For smaller commercial and residential heat pumps (including ductless heat pumps), the efficiency rating has long been a combination of the Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) for heating, and the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for cooling. That is all set to change in January 2023 as new SEER2 and HSPF2 ratings will begin taking effect.
The US Department of Energy recently updated their minimum efficiency standards, which impacts all single-phase heat pumps <65,000 btu/h manufactured or imported to the United States, starting January 1, 2023. These products will need to receive a new AHRI performance rating and comply with the updated standard efficiency levels for HSPF2 and SEER2. This update changes how manufacturers report data, how equipment is listed for distributors to sell, and how trade allies communicate heat pump efficiency to their customers.
The revised rating adjusts for changes in heat pump testing and more accurately captures annual energy use numbers. Most notably, the revised testing introduces more duct static pressure to better represent what the air handler experiences in a typical ducted system. For this reason, ducted units will show a more significant change between the old and new ratings, while ductless unit rating changes will be smaller. In all cases the HSPF2 and SEER2 rating of a particular product will be lower than that same product tested under the previous method.
While the main difference you will see is a revised label showing these new ratings, it’s important to know how to convey that information to customers. That’s why Trade Ally Network NW is busy creating marketing literature to help you navigate these changes and understand how utility incentive programs are accommodating them. In the coming months, you can expect to see informative Network resources that clearly communicate how these ratings compare with each other.
You may begin hearing about these upcoming changes from your manufacturer representatives or trusted distributors soon. We are here to help, so let us take the guesswork out of your project. Contact your local field specialist if you have any questions about utility incentives or the upcoming efficiency rating changes.