Air-Cooled Unitary Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

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As defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), small, large, and very large commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps are air-cooled, water-cooled, evaporatively-cooled, or water source unitary air conditioners and heat pumps that are used for space conditioning of commercial and industrial buildings. 10 CFR 431.92. Manufacturers have been required to comply with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) energy conservation standards for small, large, and very large commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps since 1992.

Current Standard | Current Test Procedure | Ongoing Rulemaking for Standards | Ongoing Rulemaking for Test Procedure | Helpful Links


Recent and Ongoing Activities

On February 9, 2023 DOE will host a webinar to provide an overview of the analyses it conducts when examining energy conservation standards to inform the CUAC/CUHP working group members.

  • Click here to register for the webinar.
  • Foreign Nationals interested in participating in this webinar, must be screened by DOE Headquarters Security prior to being granted access. Please email Regina.Washington@ee.doe.gov to complete the necessary documentation at least two weeks prior to scheduled meeting date.
  • Additional webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants will be published on DOE’s website: https://energy.gov/eere/buildings/public-meetings-and-comment-deadlines

DOE has published a Federal Register final rule amending its test procedures for air-cooled, three-phase, small commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment with a cooling capacity of less than 65,000 British thermal units per hour (Btu/h) and air-cooled, three-phase, variable refrigerant flow air conditioners and heat pumps with a cooling capacity of less than 65,000 Btu/h to incorporate by reference the latest version of the relevant industry test standard. DOE adopts the seasonal energy efficiency ratio 2 (SEER2) and heating seasonal performance factor 2 (HSPF2) metrics specified by that industry test standard in the DOE test procedures for the three-phase equipment that is the subject of this final rule. Additionally, DOE amends certain provisions for representations and enforcement for this equipment to harmonize with single-phase products.

  • The effective date of this rule is January 17, 2023.
  • The final rule changes will be mandatory for product testing starting December 11, 2023.
  • The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register January 17, 2023. 

On August 2, 2022 DOE published a notice of intent to establish a working group for Commercial Unitary Air Conditioner and Commercial Unitary Heat Pumps to negotiate a notice of proposed rulemaking for test procedures and energy conservation standards.  Information regarding the CUAC and CUHP working group is located on the working group webpage.

For the latest information on the planned timing of future DOE regulatory milestones, see the current Office of Management and Budget Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. All planned dates are preliminary and subject to change.

Standards

Request for Information
  • Federal Register, 87FR31743 (May 25, 2022)
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
  • Federal Register, 87FR18290 (March 30, 2022)

Notification of Data Availability 

  • Federal Register, 85FR60642 (September 25, 2021)

Request for Information; Reopening of the Public Comment Period

Request for information; Air-Cooled Commercial Package Air Conditioning and Heating Equipment and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces

DOE undertook a rulemaking process that concluded with a direct final rule in January 2016.  The small, large, and very large air-cooled commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps energy conservation standard rulemaking docket EERE-2013-BT-STD-0007 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents pertaining to this rulemaking.

Public Meeting Information:

There is no public meeting scheduled at this time. 

Submitting Public Comments

The comment period is closed.

Test Procedure

Final Rule
  • Federal Register, 87FR77298 (December 16, 2022)
Request for Information
  • Federal Register, 87FR31743 (May 25, 2022)

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

  • Federal Register, 86FR70316 (December 9, 2021).

Request for Information 

DOE undertook a rulemaking process pertaining to test procedures that concluded with a final rule in December 2015. The small, large, and very large commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps test procedure rulemaking docket EERE-2015-BT-TP-0015 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents pertaining to this rulemaking.

Public Meeting Information

There is no public meeting scheduled at this time. 

Submitting Public Comments

The comment period is closed.


Current Standard

Air-cooled unitary air-conditioners and heat pumps 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 at  10 CFR 431.97.


Current Test Procedure

To determine that air-cooled unitary air-conditioners and heat pumps that are currently manufactured or distributed into commerce are in compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedure methods specified at 10 CFR 431.96.


Helpful Links

Compliance

DOE has established regulations on certification, compliance, and enforcement in the CFR at 10 CFR Part 429.  These regulations cover statistical sampling plans, certified ratings, certification reports, record retention, and enforcement.  More information on these regulations is available here.

Waivers

For information on current test procedure waivers, see DOE’s Waivers webpage

For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR part 431, subpart V.

Exceptions

DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized exception relief for air-cooled unitary air-conditioners and heat pumps.

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

Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions

For information on further guidance and answers to Frequently Asked Questions on all covered products, see DOE’s Further Guidance database

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 10 CFR part 431, subpart W.

Contact information

For more information related to this product, please email:

ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ee.doe.gov


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