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April 1, 2015

How the 2015 SEER Ratings Relate to the Delaware Consumer

Delaware is in the southern United States. You may not think so, geographically, but it is, at least according to regulations for selling heating and cooling equipment. If you are in the market for central air conditioning, a heat pump, or a split system, you need to be aware of the impact of a recent court settlement that draws new standards for performance on these heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) components.


Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a measure of how efficiently cooling equipment operates over the entire cooling season. Say you turn on the central air conditioner in late May and run it through late September. The SEER rating tells you how much cooling you get for the electricity the central air conditioner consumes in those four months. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the A/C and the lower your utility bill. Higher SEER units generally cost more than lower SEER units.

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) is a similar yardstick for measuring efficiency of heat pumps. The higher the HSPF, the better the energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) measures a cooling system efficiency when the outdoor temperature is at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It is an instantaneous measure, not over time, and, like SEER and HSPF, higher numbers indicate greater energy efficiency.

Regional Standards

With a court settlement agreed upon in April, 2014, the country now has three regions with differing requirements for SEER performance. Delaware is part of the southern grouping, which means equipment sold in the south must meet these standards:


  • Split-system central air conditioners in the south—14 SEER as of January 1, 2015
  • Single-package air conditioners in the southeast—14 SEER as of January 1, 2015


  • Split-system heat pumps—14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF
  • Single-package heat pumps—14 SEER and 8.0 HSPF
  • Small duct, high velocity systems—13 SEER and 7.7 HSPF
  • Space-constrained air conditioners—12 SEER
  • Space-constrained heat pumps—12 SEER and 7.4 EER


The settlement allows HVAC contractors to sell cooling equipment that does not meet the new standards through the middle of 2016. If you are working with an HVAC contractor, be sure to specify your desire for a system that complies with the new standards.

Gold Star Services provides professional heating and cooling repair services to Delaware and the surrounding area. You will be impressed with our 5 star Services.

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