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Residential Room Air Conditioners

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The Department of Energy (DOE) has regulated the energy efficiency level of residential room air conditioners since 1987. Residential room air conditioners are mounted in windows or through walls and deliver conditioned air to enclosed spaces. Room air conditioners typically extract heat from the room and vent it outdoors. These products are offered in a broad range of sizes and configurations. They are used in homes, apartments, and commercial settings.

The standard implemented in 1990 will save approximately 0.7 quads of energy and result in approximately $8 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 1990-2019. The standard will avoid about 41.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 8.1 million automobiles.

The standard implemented in 2000 will save approximately 0.74 quads of energy and result in approximately $4 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 2000-2029. The standard will avoid about 19 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 3.7 million automobiles.

The standard mandatory in 2014 will save approximately 0.28 quads of energy and result in approximately $5.4 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 2014-2043. The standard will avoid about 14.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 2.8 million automobiles.


Recent Updates | Standards | Test Procedures | Waiver, Exception, and Exemption Information | Statutory Authority | Historical Information | Contact Information


Recent Updates

DOE published a final rule regarding energy conservation standards for residential room air conditioners. 78 FR 42389 (July 17, 2013). This final rule corrects the energy conservation standards for room air conditioners. The effective date of this rule is August 15, 2013. Compliance with the standards established for room air conditioners in the final rule is June 1, 2014.


Standards for Residential Room Air Conditioners

The following content summarizes the energy conservation standards for residential room air conditioners. The text is not an official reproduction of the Code of Federal Regulations and should not be used for legal research or citation.

Current Standard

Residential room air conditioners manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16), must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 430.32(b). This information is also available in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

Table 1. Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Room Air Conditioners
Product Class Energy Efficiency Ratio
Oct. 1, 2000 to May 31, 2014
1. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and less than 6,000 Btu/h 9.7
2. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 6,000 to 7,999 Btu/h 9.7
3. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 8,000 to 13,999 Btu/h 9.8
4. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 14,000 to 19,999 Btu/h 9.7
5. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 20,000 Btu/h or more 8.5
6. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and less than 6,000 Btu/h 9.0
7. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 6,000 to 7,999 Btu/h 9.0
8. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 8,000 to 13,999 Btu/h 8.5
9. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 14,000 to 19,999 Btu/h 8.5
10. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 20,000 Btu/h or more 8.5
11. With reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and less than 20,000 Btu/h 9.0
12. With reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and less than 14,000 Btu/h 8.5
13. With reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 20,000 Btu/h or more 8.5
14. With reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 14,000 Btu/h or more 8.0
15. Casement-Only 8.7
16. Casement-Slider 9.5

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

Amended Standard

Compliance with the amended standards below will be required for products manufactured on or after June 1, 2014. This information is also in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

Table 2. Amended Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Room Air Conditioners
Product Class Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio
Effective as of June 1, 2014
1. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and less than 6,000 Btu/h 11.0
2. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 6,000 to 7,999 Btu/h 11.0
3. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 8,000 to 13,999 Btu/h 10.9
4. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 14,000 to 19,999 Btu/h 10.7
5a. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 20,000 to 24,999 Btu/h 9.4
5b. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 25,000 Btu/h or more 9.0
6. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and less than 6,000 Btu/h 10.0
7. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 6,000 to 7,999 Btu/h 10.0
8a. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 8,000 to 10,999 Btu/h 9.6
8b. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 11,000 to 13,999 Btu/h 9.5
9. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 14,000 to 19,999 Btu/h 9.3
10. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 20,000 Btu/h or more 9.4
9. With reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and less than 20,000 Btu/h 9.8
12. With reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and less than 14,000 Btu/h 9.3
13. With reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 20,000 Btu/h or more 9.3
14. With reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 14,000 Btu/h or more 8.7
15. Casement-Only 9.5
16. Casement-Slider 10.4

After a regulatory action has been completed, Executive Order 12866 requires agencies to identify the substantive changes between the draft submitted to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review and the action subsequently announced, and to identify those changes made at the suggestion or recommendation of OIRA. The document below provides more information.

Test Procedure for Residential Room Air Conditioners

To determine compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedures specified at 10 CFR 430.23(f) for residential room air conditioners. The methods to conduct the test procedure are further specified in 10 CFR Part 430 Appendix F to Subpart B. These are also in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

As of February 7, 2011, any representations as to the standby mode and off mode energy consumption must be based upon results generated under the applicable provisions of this test procedure. However, the provisions in the test procedure final rule that refer to standby and off mode energy consumption are not required for determining compliance with the current energy conservation standards until they take effect on June 1, 2014.

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

Waivers, Exceptions, and Exemptions

Waivers

Test procedure waivers have not been issued for residential room air conditioners.

For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR 430.27.

Exceptions

DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized exception relief for room air conditioners.

For information about obtaining exception relief, see 10 CFR part 1003.

State Exemptions to Federal Pre-emption

DOE has not exempted any state from this energy conservation standard. States may petition DOE to exempt a state regulation from preemption by the Federal energy conservation standard. States may also petition DOE to withdraw such exemptions. For details, see CFR part 430, subpart D.

Small Business Exemptions

Any manufacturer of a covered product with annual gross revenues that do not exceed $8,000,000 from all its operations and meets certain other conditions may apply for an exemption to the energy conservation standard. For details, see CFR part 430, subpart E.

Statutory Authority

The current energy conservation standards for residential room air conditioners are mandated by Part A, the ‘‘Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles’’ of Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended. (42 U.S.C. 6291–6309) These appliances are covered products under Part A. (42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(2))

Historical Information

The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 amended EPCA by establishing energy conservation standards for room air conditioners. The recently published energy conservation standards direct final rule completed the mandated second round of rulemaking for these standards.

Helpful Links and Contact Information

Helpful Links

Find tips and guidance for making your home, workplace, or vehicle more energy efficient visit EnergySavers.gov.

DOE supports the testing and verification of ENERGY STAR® products in close collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency. ENERGY STAR qualified room air conditioners use about 10% less energy than conventional models, which could mean a savings of more than $60 over the lifetime of the unit.

Contact information

For more information related to the regulation of this product, please email:


room_air_conditioners@ee.doe.gov