Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps



Department of Energy

The Department of Energy (DOE) regulates the energy efficiency of small, large, and very large commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps. Commercial air conditioners and heat pumps are air-cooled, water-cooled, evaporatively-cooled, or water source unitary air conditioners or heat pumps that are used for space conditioning of commercial and industrial buildings.

Ongoing Rulemakings

N/A

Future Regulations
Energy Conservation Standards for Small, Large, and Very Large Commercial Package A/C and Heating Equipment

Summary: The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended, requires DOE to periodically review its standards for small, large, and very large commercial package air conditioners and heating equipment (also commonly known as commercial unitary air conditioners and heat pumps -- or CUACs). Under recent amendments to EPCA made by the American Efficient Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act of 2012 Pub. L. No. 112-210 (Dec. 18, 2012), DOE must review its standards for this equipment every six years and determine whether they need amending. More than six years has elapsed since the standards for this equipment were last amended. After reviewing these standards and the available data, DOE has determined that amending the current energy conservation standards for this equipment would be technologically feasible and economically justified. Accordingly, DOE is proposing to amend the current standards for this equipment.

Type of Regulation: Energy Conservation Standard

Rulemaking Link: Rulemaking Webpage

Docket Id: EERE-2013-BT-STD-0007

UPDATES:

Comment Period Close Date: Closed

Where to Comment: EERE-2013-BT-STD-0007

Dates: The effective date of this rule is May 16, 2016 unless adverse comment is received by May 4, 2016. If adverse comments are received that DOE determines may provide a reasonable basis for withdrawal of the direct final rule, a timely withdrawal of this rule will be published in the Federal Register. If no such adverse comments are received, compliance with the amended standards in this final rule will be required for small, large, and very large air-cooled commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment as detailed in the supplementary information. Compliance with the amended standards established for commercial warm air furnaces in this final rule is required starting on January 1, 2023.

AHRI Comments to Previous Stages of Rulemakings:

  • 2015-04-28 — Transcript: U.S. Department of Energy Public Meeting Commercial AC/Furnace Working Group ASRAC Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces
  • 2015-03-02 — AHRI Joint letter requesting that ASRAC consider a negotiated rulemaking for commercial package air conditioners and commercial furnaces at its upcoming meeting on March 19, 2015.
  • 2014-12-22 — AHRI Comment response to the published NOPR; includes Shorey Consulting comments on behalf AHRI, report: "Incremental Markups - A Critical Review of Theory and Practice," and comment retraction dated February 18, 2015
    • Link 1 – 2015-02-18: Retraction of December 22, 2014 comment about the classification of dual-duct air conditioners
    • Link 2 – AHRI Comments Docket EERE_2013_BT_STD_0007 (December 22, 2014)
    • Link 3 – Commercial Unitary Comments – Shorey Consulting
    • Link 4 – Incremental Markups – a critical review of Theory and Practice
  • 2014-10-27 — AHRI Comment response to the published NOPR and request for extension of comment period
  • 2013-03-04 — AHRI Comment response to the published RFI

Staff Contact: Laura Petrillo–Groh




Current Efficiency Standards
Standard Level

Current Standard:

For the purposes of this regulation, standards cover air-cooled, evaporatively cooled, and water-cooled and water source commercial packaged air conditioners and heat pumps.

Commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 10 CFR 431.92, must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 431.97. Compliance dates and minimum efficiencies are found in the following tables.



Table 1. Minimum Cooling Efficiency Levels for Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps (including Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems)

Equipment Type

Cooling Capacity

Sub-Category

Heating Type

Efficiency Level

Compliance Date

Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled, 3 Phase)

< 65,000 Btu/h

AC

All

SEER = 13

6/16/2008

HP

All

SEER = 13

6/16/2008

Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled)

65,000 Btu/h and < 135,000 Btu/h

AC

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.2

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 11.0

1/1/2010

HP

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.0

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.8

1/1/2010

Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled)

135,000 Btu/h and < 240,000 Btu/h

AC

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.0

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.8

1/1/2010

HP

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 10.6

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.4

1/1/2010

Very Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled)

240,000 Btu/h and < 760,000 Btu/h

AC

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 10.0

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 9.8

1/1/2010

HP

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 9.5

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 9.3

1/1/2010

Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Water-Cooled, Evaporatively-Cooled, and Water-Source)

< 17,000 Btu/h

AC

All

EER = 12.1

10/29/2003

HP

All

EER = 11.2

10/29/2003

17,000 and < 65,000

AC

All

EER = 12.1

10/29/2003

HP

All

EER = 12.0

10/29/2013

65,000 Btu/h and < 135,000 Btu/h

AC

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.3

10/29/2003

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 11.3

10/29/2003

HP

All

EER = 12.0

10/29/2003

Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Water-Cooled, Evaporatively-Cooled, and Water-Source)

135,000 Btu/h and < 240,000 Btu/h

AC

All

EER = 11.0

10/29/2003

HP

All

EER = 11.0

10/29/2004

Very Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Water-Cooled, Evaporatively-Cooled, and Water-Source)

240,000 Btu/h and < 760,000 Btu/h

AC

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.0

1/10/2011

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.8

1/10/2011

HP

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.0

1/10/2011

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.8

1/10/2011




Table 2. Minimum Heating Efficiency Levels for Commercial Package Heat Pumps (including Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems)

Equipment Type

Cooling Capacity

Efficiency Level

Compliance Date

Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled, 3 Phase)

< 65,000 Btu/h

HSPF = 7.7

6/16/2008

Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled)

65,000 Btu/h and < 135,000 Btu/h

COP = 3.3

1/1/2010

Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled)

135,000 Btu/h and < 240,000 Btu/h

COP = 3.2

1/1/2010

Very Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled)

240,000 Btu/h and < 760,000 Btu/h

COP = 3.2

1/1/2010

Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Water-Source)

< 135,000 Btu/h

COP = 4.2

10/29/2003



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

Amended Standards

On May 16, 2012, DOE published a final rule that amended energy conservation standards for water-cooled and evaporatively-cooled commercial package air-conditioning and heating equipment and established new standards for certain variable refrigerant flow multi-split air conditioners and heat pumps.



Table 3. Amended Energy Conservation Standards for Water-Cooled and Evaporatively-Cooled Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment

Product

Cooling Capacity

Heating Type

Efficiency Level

Compliance Date

Small Commercial Package Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Water-Cooled)

≥ 65,000 and < 135,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 12.1

6/1/2013

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 11.9

6/1/2013

Large Commercial Package Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Water-Cooled)

=135,000 and < 240,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 12.5

6/1/2014

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 12.3

6/1/2014

Very Large Commercial Package Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Water-Cooled)

≥ 240,000 and < 760,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 12.4

6/1/2014

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 12.4

6/1/2014

Small Commercial Package Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Evaporatively-Cooled)

≥ 65,000 and > 135,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 12.1

6/1/2014

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 11.9

6/1/2013

Large Commercial Package Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Evaporatively-Cooled)

≥ 135,000 and < 240,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 12.0

6/1/2014

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 11.8

6/1/2014

Very Large Commercial Package Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Evaporatively-Cooled)

= 240,000 and < 760,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.9

6/1/2014

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 11.7

6/1/2014




Table 4. Energy Conservation Standards for Variable Refrigerant Flow Multi-Split Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps*

Equipment Type

Cooling Capacity

Heating Type

Efficiency Level

Compliance Date

VRF Multi-Split Air Conditioners (Air-cooled)

<65,000 Btu/h

All

SEER = 13.0

6/16/2008

≥ 65,000 Btu/h and <135,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.2

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 11.0

1/1/2010

≥ 135,000 Btu/h and <240,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.0

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.8

1/1/2010

850 and <1,500

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

4.42 - 0.00028H

200 - 0.022H

≥ 240,000 Btu/h and < 760,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 10.0

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 9.8

1/1/2010

VRF Multi-Split Heat Pumps (Air-Cooled)

< 65,000 Btu/h

All

SEER = 13.0
HSPF = 7.7

6/16/2008

≥ 65,000 Btu/h and < 135,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.0
COP = 3.3

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.8
COP = 3.3

1/1/2010

≥ 135,000 Btu/h and < 240,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 10.6
COP = 3.3

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.4
COP = 3.2

1/1/2010

≥ 240,000 Btu/h and < 760,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 9.5
COP = 3.2

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 9.3
COP = 3.2

1/1/2010

VRF Multi-Split Air Conditioners (Air-cooled)

< 17,000 Btu/h

Without Heat Recovery

EER = 12.0
COP = 4.2

10/29/2012 (EER Level)
10/29/2003 (COP Level)

With Heat Recovery

EER = 11.8
COP = 4.2

10/29/2012 (EER Level)
10/29/2003 (COP Level)

≥ 17,000 Btu/h and < 65,000 Btu/h

All

EER = 12.0
COP = 4.2

10/29/2013

≥ 65,000 Btu/h and < 135,000 Btu/h

All

EER = 12.0
COP = 4.2

10/29/2013

≥ 135,000 Btu/h and < 760,000 Btu/h

Without Heat Recovery

EER = 10.0
COP = 3.9

10/29/2013

With Heat Recovery

EER = 10.0
COP = 3.9

10/29/2013

*Variable Refrigerant Flow Equipment were previously covered under the broader classes of small, large, and very large commercial package air conditioning equipment before being distinguished as separate equipment classes in the May 16, 2012 final rule. 77 FR 28991.

Links:



Current Test Procedures

To determine compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedures specified at 10 CFR 431.96 for commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps manufactured or distributed into commerce on or after January 8, 2007.

  • Final Rule: Test Procedures, Federal Register, 71 FR 71340 (Dec. 8, 2006)
  • Docket No. EERE-2006-TP-0121 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents.
  • Final Rule: Test Procedures, Federal Register, 77 FR 28928 (May 16, 2012)(This rule contained test procedures for products in addition to those in the 2006 rule).
  • Docket No. EERE-2011-BT-STD-0029 contains all notices, pulic comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents.
  • Final Rule, Federal Register, 80 FR 79655 (December 23, 2015)
  • Docket No. EERE-2015-BT-TP-0015 contains all notices, pulic comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents.

AHRI comments to rulemaking:

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:

Light Commercial HVAC Program Requirements Version 3.1


In Development:

There are no new versions currently in development.


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:

Energy Star Light Commercial HVAC Website