Mandatory HVAC/R efficiencies to increase with new energy efficiency regulations


Planned changes to the Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations will push minimum efficiencies on many HVAC/R products up this year. The minimum efficiency for forced air furnaces, for example, will go up from the current 90 percent AFUE to 95 percent AFUE.

Changes for through-the-wall (TTW) gas furnaces took effect on June 12. The minimum energy performance (MEP) standard level stays at 90 per cent AFUE, and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has removed the fan energy rating level requirement for TTW units manufactured between July 3 and Dec. 31. Regulatory exclusions for mobile home furnaces are now removed.

Amendment 15 and Amendment 16 to the Energy Efficiency regulations will come into effect on the same date, Dec. 12.

Amendment 15 to the Energy Efficiency Regulations in the residential sector will affect electric furnaces (furnace fans only), gas boilers, gas fireplaces, gas furnaces, heat recovery ventilators (reporting and verification only), oil boilers, and gas-fired instantaneous water heaters. In the commercial and industrial sector, the amendments will affect commercial gas boilers, oil boilers, electric water heaters, gas-fired instantaneous water heaters, and gas-storage and oil water heaters.

Amendment 16 covers air conditioners and heat pumps under 65,000 Btu/h, ceiling fans, portable air conditioners, and wine coolers/chillers in the residential sector. In the commercial sector, it will affect chillers, pumps, refrigerated vending machines, vertical air conditioners and heat pumps, and walk-in coolers and freezers.

The Energy Efficiency Regulations apply to any person or company that imports energy-using products into Canada for sale or lease, or ships energy-related products from one province to another for sale or lease.

As mentioned, residential gas furnaces manufactured as of July 3 will need to have a minimum of 95 per cent AFUE.

Heat/energy recovery ventilator (HRV) is a new product category for the regulations. The amendments introduce verification requirements, reporting requirements and testing standards. For HRVs and ERVs manufactured after Jan. 1, 2020, the amendment will require submission of energy efficiency reports and importation reports. There is no requirement for minimum efficiency levels.

Commercial gas storage water heaters are another new product category. The amendment has two different sets of minimum energy performance levels. Replacement units manufactured after July 1, 2023, need to meet U.S. levels. All other units manufactured after July 1, 2023, need to be at condensing levels.

Speaking of condensing units, per the amendment, condensing technology is required for residential gas instantaneous water heaters (manufactured after Jan. 1, 2020), household hot water gas boilers (Jan. 1, 2023), commercial gas instantaneous water heaters (manufactured after Jan. 1, 2023), and commercial gas boilers (manufactured after Jan. 1, 2025).

Amendment 15 sets the MEP standard and testing requirements for furnace fans for residential electric furnaces (manufactured after July 3, 2019), household steam gas boilers (manufactured after Jan. 15, 2021), household oil boilers (manufactured after January 15, 2021), commercial oil boilers (manufactured after Jan. 1, 2021), commercial gas storage water heaters – marked as replacement units (manufactured after July 1, 2023), commercial oil water heaters (manufactured after Jan. 1, 2020), and commercial electric water heaters (manufactured after Jan. 1, 2020), to align with U.S. requirements.

For Amendment 16, central air conditioners and heat pumps will now have MEP standard levels when in off mode for products manufactured after July 2017. The MEP standard levels are aligned with current U.S. levels.

Products, per Amendment 16, that are required to match requirements in the U.S. are clean water pumps (manufactured after Jan. 27, 2020), miscellaneous refrigeration products (manufactured after Oct. 28, 2019), chillers (manufactured after Dec. 31, 2019), refrigerated vending machines (manufactured after Jan. 8, 2019), single package vertical air conditioners and heat pumps less than 19 kW  (manufactured after Sept. 23, 2019), single package vertical air conditioners and heat pumps more than or equal to 19 kW and less than 39.5 kW (manufactured after Oct. 9, 2015), single package vertical air conditioners and heat pumps more than or equal to 39.5 kW (manufactured after Oct. 9, 2016), walk-in coolers and freezers (manufactured after July 10, 2020).



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