New Alberta AC regulations take effect

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It’s not just hydronic heating that is being affected by Alberta’s adoption of Section 9.36 – energy efficiency for buildings – of the 2015 National Building Code.

Those installing air conditioners and heat pumps need to be aware of new requirements that started being enforced Nov. 1, reports the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI).

The new minimum efficiency for air conditioners and heat pumps is 14.5 SEER and 11.5 EER respectively.

HRAI reports that 90 percent of all air conditioners sold in Alberta are add-on business, not replacement, meaning that these are for homes that did not previously have air conditioning. This means that contractors require an electrical permit to install an air conditioner because they are adding to the home/building’s electrical system.

Any time a permit is pulled, the work being done must comply with the latest building code. So, if a permit is pulled when installing an AC unit, the efficiency must meet the new rules.

HRAI is in the process of determining what impact this might have on distributors and manufacturers and will determine if members would like HRAI to petition Alberta Municipal Affairs to request additional time to sell any remaining inventory of 13 SEER units.

For more information contact HRAI’s Muhammad Bilal at mbilal@hrai.ca.

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