Canada looking to harmonize test standards with U.S. for central A/C, heat pumps

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Regulatory harmonization has been a long-time battle in the mechanical trades. 

Mississauga, ON — Canada is looking to harmonize test standards with the United States surrounding single package and split systems.

On January 6, 2017, the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) published a Federal Register for central air conditioners and heat pumps for energy conservation standards. This introduced a new standard with associated performance metrics and prescribed more stringent minimum efficiency performance standards (MEPS). The Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps — or M1 test procedure for short ­— provides a method of determining SEET 2, EER2, HSPF2, and PW,OFF for central air conditioners and heat pumps, reports the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) in a press release. These new requirements will apply to products manufactured on or after Jan. 1, 2023.

On March 5, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) presented to HRAI and the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) manufacturer members that it is considering aligning Canadian regulations with the M1 energy performance test standard.

This would make the optional -15C test point in the US DOE test procedure mandatory in Canadian regulations. The HSPF2 metric that is used to evaluate compliance would be based on Climate Region V for the calculation of the performance metric in the test standard.

“From the NRCan’s perspective, making the optional -15C test point mandatory would provide Canadian consumers assurance that products will function reliably in cold climate conditions, particularly in Canada’s northern regions,” reports HRAI. “Some members voiced concerns that a mandatory test point would place unnecessary test and compliance burdens on manufacturers.”

NRCan conducted a broad market study and posed a questionnaire to Canadian manufacturers in mid-March to understand the Canadian centra air conditioning and heat pump market and to evaluate the costs and benefits of aligning with the incoming U.S. regulations. The study was finalized on March 31.

HRAI informed AHRI’s Unitary Regulatory Committee that it will engage NRCan to establish a timeline of regulatory harmonization with the 2023 standards and to resolve any outstanding issues or member concerns.

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