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

DOE has issued a pre-publication Federal Register notice considering potential amendments to the test procedures for air-cooled commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps with a rated cooling capacity greater than or equal to 65,000 Btu/h, evaporatively-cooled commercial package air conditioners, and water-cooled commercial package air conditioners. DOE is also considering whether to amend the current energy conservation standards for air-cooled commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps with a rated cooling capacity greater than or equal to 65,000 Btu/h. Through this request for information (RFI), DOE seeks data and information regarding issues pertinent to whether amended test procedures would more accurately or fully comply with the requirement that the test procedure produces results that measure energy use during a representative average use cycle for the equipment without being unduly burdensome to conduct, or reduce testing burden. DOE also welcomes written comments from the public on any subject within the scope of this document (including those topics not specifically raised), as well as the submission of data and other relevant information.

  • DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this RFI until 30 days after date of publication in the Federal Register. DOE will send a follow-up e-mail once the notice publishes to announce the closing date of the comment period.
  • Interested persons may submit comments identified by docket number EERE–2022–BT– STD–0015, by email (CommPkgACHP2022STDandTP0015@ee.doe.gov), Federal eRulemaking portal (http://www.regulations.gov).

DOE has published a Federal Register notice pertaining to energy conservation standards for air-cooled, three-phase, small commercial air conditioners and heat pumps and air-cooled, three-phase, variable refrigerant flow air conditioners and heat pumps. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended (EPCA), prescribes standards for small, large, and very large commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment, of which air cooled, three-phase, small commercial air conditioners and heat pumps with a cooling capacity of less than 65,000 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 are categories. EPCA requires DOE to consider the need for amended standards each time the relevant industry standard is amended with respect to the standard levels or design requirements applicable to that equipment, or periodically under a six-year-lookback review provision. For the three-phase equipment that is the subject of this notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR), DOE is proposing amended standards that rely on new efficiency metrics and align with amended efficiency levels in the industry standard. DOE has preliminarily determined that it lacks clear and convincing evidence required by the statute to adopt standards more stringent than the levels specified in the industry standard. 

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
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

Final Rule; Technical Correction

Direct Final Rule; Effective and Compliance Dates

Direct final rule

Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

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

Request for Information

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

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

Request for Information 

Final Rule

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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