New Energy Efficiency Standards for Commercial Air Conditioners and Furnaces
The Department of Energy announced Dec. 17 new energy efficiency standards for small, large and very large air-cooled commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment and commercial warm air furnaces. DOE states that these standards will save more energy than any other energy efficiency standard it has issued to date and are technologically feasible and economically justified. Commercial air conditioners, also known as rooftop units, are commonly used in low-rise buildings such as schools, restaurants, big-box stores and small office buildings.
These new standards are incorporated in a direct final rule and will be implemented in two phases. Compliance will be required for commercial AC/heating equipment starting on Jan. 1, 2018, for the first set of standards, which will deliver a 13 percent efficiency improvement, and Jan. 1, 2023, for the second set, which will deliver an additional 15 percent increase. Compliance for commercial warm air furnaces will be required starting Jan. 1, 2023.