Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps



Department of Energy

Manufacturers have been required to comply with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy conservation standards for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps since 1992. Residential central air conditioners and heat pumps are installed as part of a home's central heating and cooling system. They use ducts to distribute cooled or dehumidified air to more than one room. Residential central air conditioners and heat pumps include split system central air conditioners and heat pumps; single package central air conditioners; small-duct high-velocity products; and space constrained products.

Ongoing Rulemakings

N/A




Future Regulations
Test Procedures for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

Summary: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposes to revise its test procedures for central air conditioners and heat pumps (CAC/HP) established under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. This rulemaking proposes two sets of amendments to the test procedure: Amendments to Appendix M that would be required as the basis for making efficiency representations starting 180 days after final rule publication; and amendments as part of a new Appendix M1 that would be the basis for making efficiency representations as of the compliance date for amended energy conservation standards going into effect January 1, 2023.

Type of Regulation: Test Procedure

Rulemaking Link: Rulemaking Webpage

Docket ID: EERE-2016-BT-TP-0029

Effective Date of Rulemaking: The final rule changes of appendix M will be mandatory for representations of efficiency, which started on July 5, 2017. Representations using appendix M1 will be mandatory starting January 1, 2023.

UPDATES:

Comment Period Close Date: Closed

Where to Comment: EERE-2016-BT-TP-0029

AHRI Comments to Previous Stages of Rulemaking:

  • 2017-03-23 — AHRI position on final ACTP rule
  • 2016-08-02 — AHRI request for public meeting regarding SNOPR
  • 2016-09-23 — AHRI comments to SNOPR

Staff Contact: Laura Petrillo-Groh




Energy Conservation Standards for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

Summary: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is initiating an effort to determine whether to amend the current energy conservation standards for residential central air conditioner and heat pump products. According to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act’s 6-year review requirement (42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(1)), DOE must publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to propose new standards for residential central air conditioner and heat pump products or a notice of determination that the existing standards do not need to be amended by June 6, 2017. DOE will determine whether amended standards for residential central air conditioner and heat pump products would result in a significant amount of additional energy savings and whether those standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified in this rulemaking.

Type of Regulation: Energy Conservation Standard

Rulemaking Link: Rulemaking Webpage

Docket ID: EERE-2014-BT-STD-0048

Effective Date of Rulemaking: The direct final rule became effective on May 8, 2017, and compliance will be required on January 1, 2023.

UPDATES:

Comment Period Close Date: Closed

Where to Comment: EERE-2014-BT-STD-0048

AHRI Comments to Previous Stages of Rulemaking:

  • 2017-04-26 — AHRI comments regarding direct final rule
  • 2015-06-09 — AHRI Request to ASRAC to consider establishing a working group
  • 2014-12-05 — AHRI Comments - Residential CAC and HP ECS RFI
  • 2014-11-25 — AHRI Request for Extension of Comment Period

Staff Contact: Laura Petrillo-Groh




Current Efficiency Standards
Standard Level

Current Standard:

Map of Regional Standards for Residential Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps


On November 19, 2015, the DOE issued framework document that presented three approaches to enforcing regional standards for residential furnaces and residential central air conditioners and heat pumps set forth by direct final rule. The document stated that it was considering each of these approaches, a combination of elements in these approaches, or alternatives in response to comments from interested parties.

Amended Standard

On June 27, 2011, amended standards were issued for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps. The full text of the amended standard is available in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 430.32(c)(3). It is also in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps manufactured on or after January 1, 2015 will have Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios and Heating Seasonal Performance Factors not less than what is indicated in the table below.



Table 1. Amended Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

Product Class

Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER)

Heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF)

(i) Split system air conditioners

13

(ii) Split system heat pumps

14

8.2

(iii) Single package air conditioners

14

(iv) Single package heat pumps

14

8.0

(v) Small duct, high velocity systems

12

7.2

(vi) (A) Space constrained products- air conditioners
(vi) (B) Space constrained products- heat pumps

12
12

7.4



In addition to meeting the applicable requirements in the table above, split-system air conditioners installed on or after January 1, 2015, in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, or in the District of Columbia, shall have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio not less than 14. Split-system air conditioners installed on or after January 1, 2015, in Arizona, California, Nevada, or New Mexico shall have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio not less than 14 and have the Energy Efficiency Ratios (at a standard rating of 95 °F dry bulb outdoor temperature) indicated in the table below:



Table 2. Energy Efficiency Ratios for Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico

Product Class

Energy efficiency ratio (EER)

(i) Split-system rated cooling capacity less than 45,000 Btu/hr

12.2

(ii) Split-system rated cooling capacity equal to or greater than 45,000 Btu/hr

11.7

(iii) Single-package systems

11.0



Central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps manufactured on or after January 1, 2015, shall have an average off mode electrical power consumptions in accordance with the following table:



Table 3. Off Mode Electrical Power Consumption

Product Class

Average off mode power consumption PW,OFF (watts)

(i) Split-system air conditioners

30

(ii) Split-system heat pumps

33

(iii) Single-package air conditioners

30

(iv) Sing-package heat pumps

33

(v) Small-duct, high-velocity systems

30

(vi) Space-constrained air conditioners

30

(vii) Space-constrained heat pumps

33



Links:

AHRI Comments to Previous Stages of Rulemaking:

  • 2012-05-17 — AHRI letter to Secretary Chu Re
  • 2012-02-06 — AHRI Comment on Energy Conservation Program: Enforcement of Regional Standards for Residential Furnaces and Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps



Current Test Procedures

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) amended the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) to require the test procedures for all covered product`s, including central air conditioners and heat pumps, be amended to measure standby mode and off mode energy consumption. This rule addresses test procedure requirements for standby mode and off mode, as well as other requirements to test these products.

To determine compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedures specified at 10 CFR 430.23(m) for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps as of April 21, 2008. The methods to conduct the test procedure are further specified in 10 CFR Part 430 Appendix M to Subpart B.

For further guidance or to submit questions related to the implementation of this test procedure, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.




EPA ENERGY STAR

Current Product Specifications:

Central Air Equipment Program Requirements Version 5.0 (493KB)


In Development:

Version 6.0 Residential Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) and Central Air Conditioner (CAC) Equipment specification development process


Applying for Energy Star:

To qualify a new product, contact an EPA-recognized Certification Body (CB) to have the product's performance certified. A list of EPA-recognized CBs, as well as an overview of EPA's third-party certification procedures, is available at Third-Party Certification. AHRI is an EPA-recognized CB. Email AHRICert_EnergyStar@ahrinet.org for more information.


More Information:

Central Air Conditioners

Heat Pumps