Final Rule from DOE on HVAC,Water Heating Equipment

MAY 3 -- On April 30, 2012, Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) received a final rule from the Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment: Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Commercial Heating, Air Conditioning, and Water Heating Equipment.

This final rule will be official when published in the Federal Register, which is expected sometime next week.

The final rule adopts the amended energy efficiency standards in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 for: small, large, and very large water-cooled and evaporatively-cooled commercial package air conditioners; variable refrigerant flow (VRF) water-source heat pumps less than 17,000 Btu/h And 135,000 Btu/h or greater; and computer room air conditioners.

The final rule (SEE BELOW) also revises the federal efficiency test procedures to incorporate by reference the following:

  • AHRI 210/240 – 2008 with Addenda 1 and 2, (small commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment)
  • AHRI 340/360 – 2007 with Addenda 1and 2 (large and very large commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment)
  • UL 727 - 2006 (commercial warm-air oil furnaces)
  • ANSI Z21.47 - 2006 (commercial warm-air gas furnaces)
  • ANSI Z21.10.3 – 2011 (commercial water heaters).

It also adopts the following industry test procedures: AHRI 1230 – 2012 and Addendum 1 (variable refrigerant flow air conditioners and heat pumps); ASHRAE 127 - 2007 (computer room air conditioners); and AHRI 390 - 2003 (single package vertical air conditioners and single package vertical heat pumps).

THE TABLE BELOW provides the effective dates for the revised or new test procedures, and the revised minimum efficiency standards in the final rule. With two exceptions, the revisions or new procedures for testing are effective 360 days after the Federal Register publication date, sometime in May 2013. In the cases of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) water-source heat pumps less than 17,000 Btu/h and computer room air conditioners less than 65,000 Btu/h, the test procedure change is effective on October 29, 2012, which also is the effective date of the respective efficiency requirements for those products. All representations of energy efficiency or energy use for the products covered by those revised or new test procedures made on or after the effective date must be based on testing to the revised or new test procedure. Additional information, along with a complete copy of the final rule, will be provided to the Sections that include products covered by this rule.

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