Legislation Updates

New residential AC standard

The installation and design of energy-efficient residential air conditioning is being given a helping hand following the publication of a new standard.

AS/NZS5141, Residential heating and cooling systems – Minimum applications and requirements for energy efficiency, performance and comfort criteria will be published on November 26. Publication is the result of the combined effort of industry representatives, consumer advocates, regulators, and technical experts.

Standards Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans says there are many schemes in place to guide energy-efficient products in our homes. But she says none look at the installation and design of air conditioning and its impact on overall energy efficiency.

The standard specifies the requirements for design, selection, installation, commissioning and maintenance of residential heating and cooling climate control systems.

Robert Beggs is Chair of the Standards Australia Technical Committee responsible for the standard. He says equipment energy efficiency programs such as Energy Labelling and MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standards) have driven air conditioning equipment manufacturers to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of their products. Yet he says the efficiency gains (which have come at a cost to the manufacturer and ultimately the consumer) can be blown away with poor application or installation.

“This standard now introduces minimum requirements for the selection and installation of the equipment and system components to ensure that the installed system can operate at optimum efficiency,” Beggs says. “Other important consumer requirements such as noise levels, system reliability, serviceability and workmanship are also addressed by this standard.”

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