New Efficiency Ratings for ACs & Heat Pumps 2023: SEER2, EER2, & HSPF2

In January 2023, the US Department of Energy introduced a new testing procedure to determine the efficiency ratings of air conditioners and heat pumps:

  • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
  • Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)
  • Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)

The new M1 testing procedure exposes AC and heat pump units to operating conditions that are more demanding. In other words, if you carry out the old and new test for the same heat pump model, you can now expect slightly lower efficiency ratings.

HVAC manufacturers have added the number “2” to identify efficiency ratings determined with the new test. This means you will find the terms SEER2, EER2 and HSPF2 on their equipment specifications. The original nomenclature (SEER, EER and HSPF) is still being used for air conditioners and heat pumps that were manufactured before the new requirements took effect.

The US Department of Energy also increased the minimum efficiency requirements for air conditioners and heat pumps sold through the country. The updated efficiency requirements have been specified with both the new and old ratings, since there is still plenty of equipment with the previous nomenclature in the market (SEER, EER and HSPF).

Did you know? The US also introduced new federal tax credits for energy efficient HVAC equipment in 2023, covering up to 30% of their cost. As you might guess, the efficiency requirements for these tax credits are higher than the minimum nationwide requirements.

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Heil Gas Furnace: Cost, Pros & Cons, Best Models

Heil has been in the residential heating and cooling industry since 1962, and they are part of International Comfort Products (ICP) along with many other HVAC brands. Heil manufactures single-stage, two-stage and modulating furnaces in two efficiency tiers.

  • Their high efficiency furnaces reach up to 98% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), and some models are ENERGY STAR Certified.
  • They also offer 80% AFUE furnaces, which are more affordable and cost-effective in milder climate zones.

According to the technical opinion of our HVAC experts, Heil can be considered a mid-tier furnace brand. They offer a wide product selection that includes high efficiency units, but other brands have a better track record of reliability and durability. If you will move to another home in the near future and only need a short-term solution, Heil can meet the heating needs of your home.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a furnace that will work reliably for 15-25 years, you should consider a top-rated brand like Carrier or Trane.

Did you know? International Comfort Products (ICP) owns Heil, Airquest, Arcoaire, Comfortmaker, Day & Night, Keeprite and Tempstar. The selection of furnaces offered by the seven brands is nearly identical. In turn, ICP is a business unit of Carrier Global Corporation, which means that Carrier owns Heil.

However, the ICP brands focus on mid-tier and affordable furnaces, while Carrier manufactures high-tier furnaces branded with their logo.

Heil Gas Furnaces: Main Product Features

The gas furnaces offered by Heil and all other ICP brands are classified into three performance tiers. All three tiers include high AFUE (90%+) and standard AFUE (80%) furnaces:

  • Ion Series (premium tier)
  • QuietComfort Series (standard tier)
  • Performance Series (value tier)

The Ion Series has the most accurate temperature and humidity control, making indoor spaces more comfortable. These furnaces use variable-speed blowers to ramp up their airflow gradually when the heating cycle starts. The furnace has more time to heat air circulating through the duct system, preventing cold drafts.

All furnace models in the Ion Series are compatible with the Wi-Fi Ion System Control, which enhances comfort.

The QuietComfort Series consists of two-stage furnaces with variable-speed fans, offering a balance between temperature control and price. These furnaces don’t have the Wi-Fi Ion System Control, which means their temperature and humidity regulation is slightly less accurate compared with the Ion Series. However, the combination of a two-stage gas valve and a variable-speed fan offers excellent temperature control on its own.

The Performance Series is the cheapest furnace line offered by Heil. These are all single-stage furnaces, and only some models have variable-speed blowers. This means you can expect notable temperature and humidity variations when using these furnaces.

Pro Tip: There is a common misconception that high furnace efficiency (AFUE) is equivalent to product quality, but this is not necessarily true. An AFUE of over 90% simply means that the furnace uses a secondary heat exchanger to collect more heat when burning natural gas. The top furnace brands make both 80% AFUE and 90-99% AFUE units.

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Goodman Gas Furnace: Cost, Pros & Cons, Best Models

Goodman is a popular furnace brand with a wide product selection and many affordable options. They manufacture single-stage, two-stage, and modulating furnaces with up to 98% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency).

Goodman also makes 80% AFUE furnaces, which are cost-effective in regions with milder winters and reduced heating loads.

If you’re looking for the best furnace models, Goodman is not among the brands recommended by our HVAC experts. Competitors like Trane, American Standard, Carrier, and Payne make furnaces that are more reliable and durable. Goodman can be a cost-effective option if you will move to another home in the near future, and you prefer to wait before buying a top-tier furnace.

Goodman is owned by Daikin, who makes some of the best air conditioners and heat pumps in the market. Daikin also owns the brand Amana, and you will notice that many furnace models sold by Goodman and Amana are identical.

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