Posts tagged ‘AHRI’

September 10, 2015, 9:45 am

AHRI Says We’re Heading in the Right Direction

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VRF technology is the fastest growing segment on the market. A major contributor to its growth over the past decade is the launch of the AHRI VRF Certification Program.

The certification program provides all-inclusive testing, from a full range of capacities to different temperatures to simulate annual usage. It ensures equipment is tested fairly and accurately and that manufacturers’ performance claims are true. Our division has had a 100 percent passing rate for the past three years, underscoring why we’re a leader in the VRF category.

The VRF market is expected to more than double over the next 20 years, from $22.8 billion this year to $47.5 billion in 2024. Testing and regulations will become more stringent as the industry continues to demand higher efficiency. Higher efficiency standards will demand more high-performing products. The consistent validation of our systems’ improved efficiencies tells us we’re heading in the right direction.

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October 8, 2014, 10:38 am

Industry Celebrates Third Anniversary of First VRF Certification Program

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We introduced Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning technology to the U.S. more than 10 years ago and currently, it’s the fastest growing HVAC technology on the market. There were two critical steps in its path to industry and end-user acceptance: the passing of Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Standard 1230 and the launch of the AHRI VRF Certification Program. This year, we celebrate the third anniversary of its success.

We began working with AHRI and other HVAC manufacturers on the program in 2003. AHRI Standard 1230, the first and only standard in the world for testing VRF zoning products, was passed in 2009. The AHRI VRF Certification Program, which validates the performance of VRF zoning equipment based on the standard, was officially launched in September 2011 with five manufacturers on board – us being one of them. To date, the program includes nine manufacturer participants and 1,367 certified models with at least 168 more expected to be certified this year. We are proud to report that all of our systems that have gone through certification verification testing over the past three years have passed! Here’s why the program continues to pick up steam:

All-Inclusive: The program tests a full range of VRF capacities, from 5,000 Btu/h indoor units to 760,000 Btu/h outdoor units. It allows manufacturers to certify ratings including full load cooling capacity, energy efficiency ratio (EER), heating capacity, coefficient of performance (COP) and simultaneous cooling and heating efficiency (SCHE). The program also provides a method for testing and rating integrated energy efficiency ratio (IEER), which involves four tests at different capacities and temperatures to simulate annual usage – this is where VRF really shines.

Third-Party Validation: Products are tested, under the direction of AHRI, at a state-of-the art Intertek facility in Plano, Texas, which was designed with input from all manufacturer participants to ensure that equipment is tested fairly and accurately. Manufacturers’ performance claims are independently measured and verified by the experienced Intertek team.

Reassurance: The program ensures that manufacturers are rating and certifying their products honestly and, better yet, adhere to a higher standard when developing VRF zoning systems. It ensures that products will perform as specified, provide predictability, optimize energy efficiency and improve client satisfaction.

Check out the August issue of JARN for more information on the program. To view the certified products and ratings, go to ahridirectory.org.

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June 24, 2014, 12:52 pm

The Path to Acceptance: History of VRF Zoning Regulations in the U.S.

Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning technology is the fastest growing HVAC technology in the industry today. Mitsubishi Electric introduced the technology to the U.S. more than 10 years ago and has spent the last decade building the category nationwide.

VRF zoning now fills an enormous gap in the country’s cooling and heating needs, but in the early 2000s there was little awareness of this technology. We realized then that the success of VRF zoning technology in the U.S. required a paradigm shift in how the industry and end users thought about cooling and heating solutions.

To initiate this shift we focused on two approaches: to build training and market education at the grass-roots level and to simultaneously spearhead government regulations.

We knew that certification was critical to industry acceptance and, by extension, to end users. We became active members of the HVAC and energy communities, chairing ASHRAE committees, participating in DOE discussions, meeting with members of Congress and becoming active in AHRI. We are proud to have pioneered the introduction of this technology to the U.S. and the subsequent regulatory acceptance.

We have achieved many milestones already and today have an entire department dedicated to advocating for the unique performance capabilities of VRF zoning in the U.S. To see how far we’ve come, here are some of the regulatory milestones that have paved the way to official industry recognition of VRF zoning technology:

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June 3, 2014, 2:43 pm

Regional Standards Settlement – What it Means to Us

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On May 29, we posted about the joint settlement agreement between the Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), the Air-conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Department of Energy (DOE) on regional energy-efficiency standards for gas furnaces and central air-conditioning units. It is essential that HVAC professionals are aware of and understand the new standards – which go into effect January 1, 2015 – in order to provide honest, professional service to their customers.

We spelled out the 5 major changes to the regional efficiency standards for you last week. Now here’s how our equipment will be impacted, as we understand it today:

  • The efficiency standard for heat pumps applies nationally and is governed by the import date. By December 31, 2014, we must have imported the last 13 SEER heat pumps. This has a minor impact on our equipment. Almost all of our heat pump systems are above 14 SEER, except for these combinations: PUZ-A24NHA4(BS)/PLA-A24BA and PUZ-A30NHA4(BS)/PLA-A30BA; these can only be used during the 18-month grace period with outdoor units that were imported before January 1, 2015.

  • The efficiency standards for air-conditioning systems are regional and are applied based on the date of installation. The regional standard is reflected in the efficiency values listed on the ENERGYGUIDE label or yellow hang tags.

    • Southwest: After January 1, 2015, many of the ratings of our system combinations, especially P-Series combinations, will fall below the new minimum EER values (see the May 29 blog post for lists of the new minimum efficiencies, specifically the EER requirements for the Southwest region), at which time, these system combinations can only be installed during the 18-month grace period with our outdoor units that were imported before January 1, 2015.

    • Southeast: Certain cooling-only combinations will not meet the regional qualifications in this region and include PUY-A24NHA4(BS)/PLA-A24BA, PUY-A30NHA4(BS)/PLA-A30BA, PUY-A12NHA4(BS)\PLA-A12BA, and PUY-A12NHA4(BS)/PEA-A12AA. These system combinations can only be installed during the 18-month grace period with our outdoor units that were imported before January 1, 2015.

    • As of January 1, 2015, our two single-speed systems (MS-A09/12WA) will not meet the minimum efficiency in the Southeast or Southwest areas. These system combinations can only be installed during the 18-month grace period with our outdoor units that were imported before January 1, 2015.

Click here to learn about the energy-efficient designs of our products, which will allow them to comply with the standards. To read the March 11 joint settlement issued by the HARDI, ACCA, the AHRI and the DOE, click here.

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May 29, 2014, 2:33 pm

Two Years Later: HARDI, ACCA, AHRI, DOE Reach Regional Standards Settlement

Logo ImageOn April 24, the U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit issued an order approving the March 11 joint settlement agreement between the Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), the Air-conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Department of Energy (DOE) on regional energy-efficiency standards for gas furnaces and central air-conditioning units.The settlement comes after a 2011 lawsuit that spanned more than two years, during which industry associations argued that the DOE’s regional efficiency standards rulemaking process was unjust as it ignored the input of distributors and other stakeholders.

The settlement is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2015. Here are the changes that contractors, distributors and manufacturers need to know:

    1. The regional energy-efficiency standard for residential nonweatherized gas furnaces in the Northern markets has been remanded. The DOE will develop a new standard and will use a more transparent process when developing it. The new standard won’t be established for at least seven years. Until then, a national standard of 78 percent Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is in effect until November 19, 2015. After this date, the AFUE standard will be raised to 80 percent.

    2. The DOE will review and clarify the Direct Final Rule (DFR) process. The DOE agrees to revise the process that sparked the 2011 lawsuit, and employ a new procedure that puts more weight on feedback from all interested parties. This will ensure a consensus on an enforcement plan amongst all stakeholders.

    3. The DOE will address an enforcement rulemaking for the air-conditioner and heat pump standards that remain in place and are set to go into effect next year. As of January 1, 2015, the regional and national efficiency standards will be as follows:

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    4. Distributors in the South and Southwest have an 18-month sell-through period. Distributors have until July 1, 2016 to sell any inventory of 13-SEER equipment manufactured or imported before January 1, 2015. The DOE agrees not to hold distributors liable when enforcing the new standard. The January 1, 2015 compliance date still applies to manufacturers, however.

    5. The DOE recognizes the 18-month grace period granted to distributors and agrees not to penalize them. “This settlement protects distributors from significant damage associated with stranded inventory,” said Steve Porter, co-chair of HARDI’s committee on government and trade relations.

The settlement ensures that manufacturers don’t have to move inventory from one region to another to accommodate regional efficiency standards.The settlement also gives manufacturers two preseason order periods to adjust inventory and time to phase in new models and begin messaging to their distributors and contractors.

The settlement gives contractors time to familiarize themselves with the new standards as well (74 percent are unaware of the changing standards for residential air-conditioning and heat pump systems). In addition to the new regional efficiency standards for split systems and single-package air conditioning units, the settlement also addresses new national standards for 10 other product categories, including split-system heat pumps.

Click here to read the “Court Accepts Regional Standards Settlement” article from ACH&R News for more details.

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August 7, 2013, 11:39 am

AHRI, Mitsubishi Electric Chill Out on Capitol Hill


Photo Credit: AHRI Communications

The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), who describe themselves as the “folks who keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and who keep your showers hot and your drinks cold,” hosted a reception on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

Mitsubishi Electric’s own Paul Doppel, senior director, industry and government relations, and Jay Perkins, senior government affairs specialist, were on hand to toast AHRI and its hardworking friends on the Hill. Some Washington-area sports mascots even stopped by to celebrate.

This is the third year that AHRI has hosted this reception right after the August congressional recess begins. The intent is to show appreciation to the congressional staffers and aides who support the HVACR and water heating industry, which today accounts for a whopping one million jobs in the U.S. Cheers to that!

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