Release of Final Report: Domestic Air Conditioner Test Standards and Harmonization

This 4E project undertook a detailed examination of current test procedures and metrics across its Member countries in 2019.  This report identifies several recommendations to improve international alignment and noted the work underway in several regions to develop new methods for testing variable capacity air conditioners.  The report highlights the significant challenges for manufacturers and regulators in accurately testing these products and indicated the role of international round robin testing as a means to better understand and align any differences in these test methods.

Energy consumed by air conditioning systems has tripled since 1990:  no other building end-use is growing as fast. Air conditioning not only makes up a significant and growing share of energy consumption, it is also the primary contributor to peak demand in many geographies.

Across the globe there are numerous governing bodies that currently regulate and test air conditioners (ACs) and more than 60 countries have regulatory requirements on the energy performance. These proven, cost-effective strategies for slowing the growth of energy consumption and reducing peak demand on electrical systems around the world rely upon accurate and repeatable test procedures.

However, the test procedures and metrics established by these different countries often vary, making it difficult to compare the energy performance of ACs across jurisdictions. This can confuse consumers, provide inappropriate drivers for product developers, and increase the testing burden on manufacturers attempting to comply with many different regulatory schemes.