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Certain Energy Test Procedures for Central ACs and Heat Pumps Implemented

The U.S. Department of Energy has lifted an administrative stay issued on 3 July 2017 that postponed the effectiveness of certain provisions of a January 2017 final rule that amended the energy test procedure and certain certification, compliance and enforcement provisions for central air conditioners and heat pumps.

The January 2017 final rule added a paragraph at 10 CFR 429.16(a)(3)(i) requiring, among other things, that central air conditioners and heat pumps be tested under the outdoor unit with no match provisions if:

  • any of the refrigerants approved for use with an outdoor unit model is HCFC-22 or has a 95 °F midpoint saturation absolute pressure that is +/- 18 percent of the 95 °F saturation absolute pressure for HCFC-22, or if there are no refrigerants designated as approved for use; or
  • a model of outdoor unit is not charged with a specified refrigerant from the point of manufacture or if the unit is shipped requiring the addition of more than two pounds of refrigerant to meet the charge required for testing per section 2.2.5 of appendix M or appendix M1 (unless either (i) the factory charge is equal to or greater than 70 percent of the outdoor unit internal volume times the liquid density of refrigerant at 95 °F or (ii) an A2L refrigerant is approved for use and listed in the certification report).

These provisions are now effective following the lifting of the administrative stay.

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