Heating Ventilating and Cooling Equipment (HVAC)
EnerGuide – Labelling, Rating and Certification for Air Conditioners
Both room air conditioners and central air conditioners are covered under Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations, which came into effect February 3, 1995. These regulations, which cover several types of energy-using products, help Canadians save money and protect the environment by reducing electricity demand. Improving energy efficiency reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change. Under the Regulations, energy-using products, such as room air conditioners and central air conditioners, must meet minimum efficiency standards of performance if they are to be imported into Canada or shipped across provincial boundaries.
Room air conditioners
The Energy Efficiency Regulations specify that room air conditioners must carry an EnerGuide label, which helps you obtain consistent and reliable information about the relative energy efficiency of room air conditioners on the market.
The EnerGuide Label for Room Air Conditioners
Note: The EnerGuide label for room air conditioners always compares models of the same type and with similar cooling capacities.
- This number shows the energy efficiency ratio – EER – of the room air conditioner model. The EER is based on a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) test procedure that manufacturers must follow.
- The numbers shown on the left and right of this line indicate the range of EERs available for similar models (same type and similar cooling capacity) during one year.
- The number on the right is the most energy-efficient model produced or available in a given year, as listed with EnerGuide. The number on the left of this line is the EER of the least efficient model produced or available in a given year, as listed with EnerGuide.
- This triangle places the EER of the model on the label in comparison with the least and most efficient EERs (numbers on the left and right) of models of the same type and with similar cooling capacities. The numbers on this scale are provided by EnerGuide to all manufacturers and dealers, and are updated every year to reflect new models introduced in Canada.
- This is the type and cooling capacity category. Types are either louvred or non-louvred. Cooling capacity category is in Btu/h.
- This is the actual model number of the unit on which the label should be placed.
ENERGY STAR qualified room air conditioners use up to 40 percent less energy for the same cooling output when compared with older models. The ENERGY STAR energy efficiency specification for window-mounted room air conditioners requires that the EnerGuide EER rating be at least 10.7 or 10.8 for small to mid-sized units under 20 000 Btu/h. For larger units, the EER rating must be equal to or above 9.4. This performance requirement means that ENERGY STAR labelled products must be at least 10 percent more efficient than Canada's minimum energy efficiency level.
The room air conditioner EER and cooling capacity are determined in accordance with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard C368.1-M90, which specifies methods of testing, test conditions and tolerances. Certification organizations accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, such as CSA, operate energy efficiency verification services for manufacturers, distributors and importers of room air conditioners to help them demonstrate compliance with federal and provincial regulations. These verification services assess the products' performance against mandated requirements and put in place a process to ensure that production units continue to meet these requirements.
Central air conditioners
As mentioned earlier, central air conditioners must meet minimum efficiency standards of performance under Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations, as well as under similar regulations in many provinces. These regulations specify the minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) for central air-conditioning equipment.
The EnerGuide Rating for Central Air Conditioners
NRCan and the Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) have established an industry-managed energy efficiency rating system for furnaces, central air conditioners and heat pumps. The energy efficiency rating scale appears under the EnerGuide logo on the back of the manufacturers' brochures (see Figure 2). As with the EnerGuide label for room air conditioners, the inverted triangle and graduated bar can be used to compare a particular model with other model designs and types.
Air conditioner and heat pump (cooling mode) energy efficiency is measured by SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio). The higher the number, the more energy-efficient the model.
ENERGY STAR Qualified Central Air Conditioners
Today's ENERGY STAR qualified central air conditioners use up to 8 percent less energy than standard new central air conditioners. The ENERGY STAR specification for central air conditioners requires that the EnerGuide SEER rating be 14.0 or greater for a single package unit and 14.0 or greater for a split system.
The central air conditioner SEER and cooling capacity are determined in accordance with CSA Standard C273.3-M91: Performance Standard for Split-System Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps. The standard specifies the tests and calculation procedures to be used to determine SEER and capacity ratings. The standard also specifies the minimum efficiency requirements.
Certification organizations accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, such as CSA, operate energy efficiency verification services for manufacturers, distributors and importers of central air conditioners to help them demonstrate compliance with federal and provincial regulations. These verification services assess the products' performance against mandated requirements and put in place a process to ensure that production units continue to meet these requirements.