Mandatory HVAC/R efficiencies to increase with new energy efficiency regulations

Andrew Charteris of Haven Home ClimateCare, Kingston, Ont. performs a precision furnace tune-up. New gas furnaces will have to be 95 percent AFUE.
By Leah Den Hartogh
Changes have been made to Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations which will affect many products in the HVAC/R industries. Both Amendment 15 and Amendment 16 to the regulations will come into force on Dec. 12, with an exception for through-the-wall gas furnaces which came into force immediately June 12.
Amendment 15 to the Energy Efficiency Regulations in the residential sector affects electric furnaces (furnace fans only), gas boilers, gas fireplaces, gas furnaces, heat recovery ventilators (reporting and verification only), oil boilers, and gas-fired instantaneous water heaters. In the commercial and industrial sector, the amendments will affect commercial gas boilers, oil boilers, electric water heaters, gas-fired instantaneous water heaters, and gas-storage and oil water heaters.
Amendment 16 to the Energy Efficiency Regulations covers air conditioners and heat pumps under 65,000 Btu/h, ceiling fans, portable air conditioners, and wine coolers/chillers in the residential sector. In the commercial sector, it will affect chillers, pumps, refrigerated vending machines, vertical air conditioners and heat pumps, and walk-in coolers and freezers.
Big jump for gas furnaces
Residential gas furnaces manufactured since July 3 will need to have a minimum 95 per cent AFUE. For through-the-wall (TTW) gas furnaces, the minimum energy performance (MEP) standard level stays at 90 per cent AFUE, and NRCan has removed the fan energy rating level requirement for TTW gas furnaces manufactured between July 3 and Dec. 31. Regulatory exclusions for furnaces for mobile homes are now removed, however
Heat/energy recovery ventilator is a new product category for the regulations. The amendments introduce verification requirements, reporting requirements and testing standards. For HRVs and ERVs manufactured after January 1, 2020, the amendment will require submission of energy efficiency reports and importation reports. There is no requirement for minimum efficiency levels.
Commercial water heaters added
Commercial gas storage water heaters will also now come under the Energy Efficiency Regulations. The amendment has two different sets of minimum energy performance levels. Replacement units manufactured after July 1, 2023 need to meet U.S. levels. All other units manufactured after July 1, 2023 need to be at condensing levels.
Speaking of condensing units, per the amendment, condensing technology is required for residential gas instantaneous water heaters (manufactured after Jan. 1, 2020), household hot water gas boilers (Jan. 1, 2023), commercial gas instantaneous water heaters (manufactured after Jan. 1, 2023), and commercial gas boilers (manufactured after January 1, 2025).
Amendment 15 sets the minimum energy performance (MEP) standard and testing requirements for furnace fans for residential electric furnaces (manufactured after July 3), household steam gas boilers (manufactured after Jan. 15, 2021), household oil boilers (manufactured after Jan. 15, 2021), commercial oil boilers (manufactured after Jan. 1, 2021), commercial gas storage water heaters – marked as replacement units (manufactured after July 1, 2023), commercial oil water heaters (manufactured after Jan. 1, 2020), and commercial electric water heaters (manufactured after Jan. 1, 2020), to align with U.S. requirements.
Air conditioning standards
Under Amendment 16, central air conditioners and heat pumps will now have MEP standard levels when in the “off mode” for products manufactured after July 2017. The MEP standard levels are aligned with current U.S. levels.
Products, per Amendment 16, that are required to match requirements in the U.S. are clean water pumps (manufactured after Jan. 27, 2020), miscellaneous refrigeration products (manufactured after Oct. 28, 2019), chillers (manufactured after Dec. 31, 2019), refrigerated vending machines (manufactured after Jan. 8, 2019), single package vertical air conditioners and heat pumps less than 19 kW  (manufactured after Sept. 23, 2019), single package vertical air conditioners and heat pumps more than or equal to 19 kw and less than 39.5 kw (manufactured after Oct. 9, 2015), single package vertical air conditioners and heat pumps more than or equal to 39.5 kw (manufactured after Oct. 9, 2016), walk-in coolers and freezers (manufactured after July 10, 2020).
For more information please visit www.nrcan.gc.ca.