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CEIS presents the new EU regulations for air con-ditioning appliances up to 12 kW

30-04-2013 | Efficiency tests | news

“Bearing in mind the novelty and complexity of the technical assumptions considered in the new regulations, we find it interesting to comprehensively analyse and develop the concepts of seasonal energy performance in order to enhance the understanding of their implications.

The recently published EU legislation for air conditioners ? 12 kW (Delegated Regulation No 626/2011 “Energy labelling of air conditioners”1, Regulation No 206/2012 “Ecodesign requirements for air conditioners and comfort fans”2, and “Commission Communication in the framework of the implementation of Regulation No 206/2012 and Delegated Regulation No 626/2011”3) defines the energy classification, labelling and ecodesign requirements for these appliances as of 1 January 2013.

With this presentation, our aim is to clarify any unclear points or to convey a possible interpretation of the latter.


The new legislation refers exclusively to air-to-air air conditioners and heat pumps with electrically driven compressors, including compact and split appliances, with one or more indoor units, with a minimum nominal power under 12kW.

Three types of appliances are defined:
– double ducts (compact appliances with indoor installation against the wall)
– single ducts (movable compact appliances using indoor air and discharging it through a small flexible duct)

Illustration 1 Double-duct air conditioner

Illustration 2 Single-duct air conditioner

These appliances are not conceived to cool a room, but the area right in front of the ap-pliance, and according to Regulation No 626/2011 they shall be named “local air condi-tioners” in packaging, product documentation and in any advertisement material.

– the rest of the appliances are called air conditioners.
This category, the largest one, includes compact and split appliances, with or without duct work, and multisplit appliances with several indoor units for just one outdoor unit.

The new energy class scale

The new energy efficiency classes are defined as follows:

Table 5 Energy efficiency classes for air conditioners

Table 6 Energy efficiency classes for double-duct and single-duct appliances

Regulation No 626/2011 establishes the following dates for the specific energy efficiency class labelling to come into force:

Table 7 Date on which the specific energy efficiency class labelling comes into force

It seems strange that classes E, F and G are defined for double-duct and single-duct ap-pliances when once the regulation comes into force it will not be possible to use said classes.
The clause dealing with considerations in Regulation No 626/2011 conveys the need for suppliers to be able to use classes higher than those defined in table 7. Even if this point is not included in the regulation, sectoral associations such as AFEC or EUROVENT believe that classes A+ to A+++ will be able to be declared as of 1 January 2013.

The new energy labelling

Illustration 8 shows two examples of labels with the data required by Regulation No 626/2011.
Regarding multisplit systems, Regulation No 626/2011 establishes that a printed label must be provided, at least in the packaging of the outdoor unit, for at least one combination of indoor and outdoor units at capacity ratio 1. For other combinations, the information can be alternatively provided on a free access web site.

Illustration 8 Examples of labels for air conditioners and double-duct and single-duct appliances.


The new legislation involves a very important challenge for air conditioner manufacturers: it is compulsory for them to provide an important series of technical data for every single one of their models as of 1 January 2013.

Moving from the declaration of nominal performance to seasonal performance will enable the end user to have access to data showing more closely the actual functioning of the equipment, but this change will require an important adaptation period for all actors to understand the new labelling perfectly well.

For the heating mode, it will involve a bigger change since there are different declarations for each of the climates defined in the new legislation and declarations have to be based on the power of design instead of on the nominal power, as it has been done so far.

The new legislation is bound to have a very positive effect on the energy performance of appliances sold in Europe. However, for this effect to fully emerge, it is necessary to implement effective market surveillance.

For inverter appliances, the manufacturer shall define the frequencies of the compressor and fans for each testing condition, in order to provide the exact part load. It will not be an easy task.

The first findings obtained by testing in laboratories and from manufacturers’ opinions show that we have a through restructuring of the European market for this kind of appli-ances ahead of us, where priority might be given to variable power appliances and fixed power heat pumps will be removed from the market, due to the strict requirements applied to the heating mode.


1OJ L 178, 6.7.2011, p. 1 to 72
2OJ L 72, 10.3.2012, p. 7 to 27
3OJ C 172, 16.6.2012, p. 1 to 26

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