Frequently Asked Questions
HVAC Air Filters, Deep-Dimming Fluorescent Lamp Ballasts, and Heat Pump Water-Heating Packages

(Last Update: )

Beginning July 1, 2016, new regulations for several appliances covered under Title 20, California’s Appliance Efficiency Regulations, went into effect: new standard for deep-dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts; new labeling requirements for air filters used in air conditioning, heating, and ventilation equipment (HVAC); and new reporting requirements for heat pump water-heating packages.

Provided for your convenience is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and responses related to HVAC Air Filters, Deep-Dimming Fluorescent Lamp Ballasts, and Heat Pump Water-Heating Packages. If additional clarification is needed on any of the information contained in the FAQ document, please contact the Appliance Efficiency Program via email at: appliances@energy.ca.gov. Please use the following title in the subject line: [Appliance Type] FAQ.

General

Where can I locate the final version of these new standards?

The adopted changes have been reviewed by the Office of Administrative Law and were published by the Secretary of State in the California Code of Regulations. The current version of the Appliance Efficiency Regulations is available online through the Office of Administrative Law’s website at http://oal.ca.gov/CCR.htm.

Where can I find the templates and instructions for certifying?

All certification is done through the Modernized Appliance Efficiency Database System (MAEDBS). The instructions for submitting appliance data using the MAEDBS, along with the templates can be found at:
http://energy.ca.gov/appliances/database/forms_instructions_cert/.

Instructions on how to use the MAEDBS can be found at:
http://energy.ca.gov/appliances/forms/MAEDBS_General_Instructions.pdf.

Are manufacturers required to test and certify these products to the Energy Commission in order to sell the products in California?

Yes, for all products manufactured on or after the July 1, 2016, effective date, manufacturers must test and certify the products before they are sold or offered for sale in California. Products manufactured before July 1, 2016, may continue to be sold without having to comply with Title 20.

What test laboratory can I use to test my products?

Manufacturers may certify test results from a test laboratory that the Commission has approved to conduct the test procedure for the specific product. A list of approved test laboratories is available through MAEDBS. Test laboratories must submit an annual application to the Commission to be approved as a test laboratory.

HVAC Air Filters

What rules are in place for HVAC air filters?

The scope of the regulations is expanded to cover labeling of air filters. The air filter labeling measure is designed to empower consumers and HVAC designers with the information they will need to make informed decisions when replacing an air filter or designing/specifying an HVAC system. Manufacturers are also required to test and certify air filter models to MAEDBS.

What are the efficiency standards?

There are no federal or state energy efficiency standards related to HVAC air filters.

Which test method is required for air filters?

The test requirements for air filters are located in Section 1604(c)(4) of Title 20. There are four test methods:

Appliance Test Methods
Air Filter Pressure DropAHRI 680-2009 or ASHRAE 52.2-2012
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)ASHRAE 52.2-2012
Air Filter Particle Size Efficiency AHRI 680-2009 or ASHRAE 52.2-2012
Dust Holding Capacity AHRI 680-2009 or ASHRAE 52.2-2012

What data is collected for air filters?

The database submittal requirements for air filters are displayed in Table X of Title 20, Section 1606:

Required Information
Air Filter Sizes Tested
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)
Particle Size Efficiency for 0.3 to 1.0 μm particle size
Particle Size Efficiency for 1.0 to 3.0 μm particle size
Particle Size Efficiency for 3.0 to 10.0 μm particle size
Test Procedure used to determine air filter efficiency performance
Air Filter Length
Air Filter Width
Air Filter Depth
Air Filter Face Area
Face Velocity Utilized for the test procedure
Airflow Rate Value 1
Airflow Rate Value 2
Airflow Rate Value 3
Airflow Rate Value 4
Airflow Rate Value 5-Maximum Rated Airflow Rate
Initial Resistance at Airflow Rate Value 1
Initial Resistance at Airflow Rate Value 2
Initial Resistance at Airflow Rate Value 3
Initial Resistance at Airflow Rate Value 4
Initial Resistance at Airflow Rate Value 5
Final Resistance at the point where test is terminated and results determined
Dust Holding Capacity at the maximum rated airflow rate as published by the manufacturer
Airflow Rate value determined at an Initial Resistance of 0.1 inch of water column

What are the labeling requirements for HVAC air filters?

The labeling requirement for HVAC air filters manufactured on or after July 1, 2016, depends on the test method used – AHRI 680-2009 or ASHRAE 52.2-2012. Since each test method has different ways of testing the unit and yield different outputs, the labeling requirements must match the data provided from the test method. The table below summarizes how the reported values are determined that will be displayed on the label.

Report Value by Test Method*

Label Requirement AHRI 680-2009 ASHRAE 52.2-2012
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)N/AMinimum Efficiency Reporting Value
Particle Size Efficiency (PSE)PSE of the unit in three particle size ranges: 0.3-1.0, 1.0-3.0, 3.0-10 micrometers (μm) → Three separate valuesPSE of the unit in three particle size ranges: 0.3-1.0, 1.0-3.0, 3.0-10 micrometers (μm) → Three separate values
Airflow Rate Value 1 (val 1)Airflow rate at 400 cfmAirflow rate at 50% of the test airflow rate in cfm (50% of airflow rate value 3)
Airflow Rate Value 2 (val 2)Airflow rate at 800 cfmAirflow rate at 75% of the test airflow rate in cfm (75% of airflow rate value 3)
Airflow Rate Value 3 (val 3)Airflow rate at 1200 cfmAirflow rate at 100% test airflow rate in cfm; determined as equal to selected test face velocity (fpm) multiplied by the air filter face area (ft2)
Airflow Rate Value 4 (val 4)Airflow rate at 1600 cfmAirflow rate at 125% of the test airflow rate in cfm (125% of airflow rate value 3)
Airflow Rate Value 5 (val 5)Maximum Rated Airflow Rate (cfm)Maximum Rated Airflow Rate (cfm)
Initial Resistance at val 1Initial Resistance (iwc) at 400 cfmInitial Resistance (iwc) at 50% test airflow rate
Initial Resistance at val 2Initial Resistance (iwc) at 800 cfmInitial Resistance (iwc) at 75% test airflow rate
Initial Resistance at val 3Initial Resistance (iwc) at 1200 cfmInitial Resistance (iwc) at 100% test airflow rate
Initial Resistance at val 4Initial Resistance (iwc) at 1600 cfmInitial Resistance (iwc) at 125% test airflow rate
Initial Resistance at val 5Initial Resistance (iwc) at maximum rated airflow rateInitial Resistance (iwc) at test maximum rated airflow rate

*Please refer to Section 1607(d)(12) in Title 20 for details.

Where must the HVAC air filter label be placed?

The information reported in accordance to the test method used shall be marked, permanently and legibly, on an accessible and conspicuous place on the edge of the filter itself, or on the pleats if appropriate, in characters of font size 12. An example of acceptable labeling is shown below:

Image of label location placements. They are, holding filter in either hand with pleats facing you, top right face of border edge, or top right and attached to a pleat, or bottom right affixed to right side outer edge.

If the label on the air filter is not legible through the retail packaging, then the packaging shall also be labeled with the same information.

What does an “accessible place” mean?

An accessible place is defined in Title 20, Section 1602(a) as a place on an appliance that can be easily seen without the need for tools to remove any covering that is part of the appliance.

How should the information be formatted on the label?

The information shall be disclosed in the following format:

MERV(μm)
PSE
(%)
0.30-1.01.0-3.03.0-10Airflow Rate
(CFM)
[val 1][val 2][val 3][val 4][val 5]*Max
Rated
Airflow
[value][value][value][value]Initial
Resistance
(IWC)
[value][value][value][value][value]

Can a manufacturer provide additional information on the label?

Yes, a manufacturer may include additional information. The requirements in Section 1607 for marking are minimum requirements.

Heat Pump Water-Heating Packages

What regulations are adopted for heat pump water-heating packages?

The scope of the regulations covers testing and certification of heat pump water-heating packages. These may also be referred to as heat pump water-chilling packages in Title 20, due to nomenclature used in then-applicable industry specifications.

What are the proposed standards?

There are no federal or state energy efficiency standards related to heat pump water-heating packages.

Which test method is used to collect data requirements for heat pump water-heating packages?

Heat pump water-heating packages shall be tested using ANSI/AHRI 550-590 (I-P) 2011 and the following temperature parameters: the heating capacity tests shall be conducted at ambient temperatures of 47°F and 17°F and leaving water temperature of 120°F. If the package is capable of cooling, it shall be tested at an ambient temperature of 95°F and leaving water temperature of 44°F.

What data is collected for heat pump water-heating packages?

The data being collected and database submittal requirements for heat pump water-heating packages are as follows per Section 1606 of Title 20:

Required Information
Voltage
Phase
Refrigerant Type
Compressor Motor Design
OD Fan Motor Design
Does the Model Number include all components?
Is the model designed for space cooling?
Cooling Capacity (BTU per hour) if applicable
Cooling Power Input (watts) if applicable
Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) if applicable
Integrated Part Load Value (IPLV)
Heating Capacity (BTU per hour) at 47°F
Heating Power Input (watts) at 47°F
Coefficient of Performance (COP) at 47°F
Heating Capacity (BTU per hour) at 17°F
Heating Power Input (watts) at 17°F
Coefficient of Performance (COP) at 17°F
Heat Capacity (BTU per hour) of heat reclaim
COPR of heat reclaim

Deep-Dimming Fluorescent Lamp Ballasts

What rules are adopted for deep-dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts?

The scope of the regulations covers state efficiency standards for deep-dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts.

Are deep-dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts federally-regulated?

No, the Energy Commission set energy efficiency standards for deep-dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts that are capable of operating lamps in dimmed operating modes at any number of levels at or below 50 percent of full output. The term shall only apply to lamp ballasts designed to operate one, two, three, or four T5 or T8 four-foot linear or U-shape fluorescent lamps. The Department of Energy regulates dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts for ballasts with dimming levels between full output and 50 percent.

What is the state efficiency standard?

Deep-dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts manufactured on or after July 1, 2016, shall meet the following requirements:

  1. Shall not consume more than 1 watt in standby mode;
  2. Shall have a power factor of 0.9 or greater; and
  3. Shall have a weighted ballast luminous efficacy greater than or equal to the threshold described in the following equation:
    Math equation for determining the weight ballast luminous efficacy

What test method is the state requiring?

The test method for deep-dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts is the federal test method 10 C.F.R. Section 430.23(q)(Appendix Q to Subpart B of part 430) with four major modifications (Sections 1604(j)(3)(A) through 1604(j)(3)(D)). In addition, the test method is modified by the definition of “arc power” in Section 1602(j).

What data is being collected for deep-dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts?

The data being collected and database submittal requirements for deep-dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts are as follows per Section 1606 of Title 20:

Required Information
Ballast Input Voltage
Number of Lamps
Lamp Type
Dimming Type
Control Type
Start Type
P100 [Input Power at 100%]
Arc Power 100
P80 [Input Power at 80%]
Arc Power 80
P50 [Input Power at 50%]
Arc Power 50
BLE [Ballast Luminous Efficacy] 100
BLE[Ballast Luminous Efficacy] 80
BLE [Ballast Luminous Efficacy] 50
P0 (Standby Mode Power)
Weighted Ballast Luminous Efficacy
Power Factor

Does the measurement of arc power include the measurement of cathode heat?

The definition of “arc power” in the Commission’s regulations is, “the entire output power of the ballast and delivered to all attached lamps.” (Section 1602(j)).

At what dimming state should the standby mode test be conducted?

Under the standby mode test, the ballast is tested “with a control input set to the lowest dimming state possible up to and including no light output.” (Section 1604(j)(3)(C)) The test procedure for this test is a combination of the test in Appendix Q of Subpart B of Part 430 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and the modification in Title 20, Section 1604 of the California Code of Regulations. In addition, the test is slightly different for continuous dimming and step-dimming ballasts.

For continuous dimming ballasts, the test laboratory should turn down the manufacturer-recommended dimmer control signal to no light output. For step-dimming ballasts, the test laboratory should switch the manufacturer-recommended dimmer control signal to no light output (typically “off”). After 90 minutes of entering this state, the test laboratory should take the measurement of standby power of the ballast.

What is the testing sample size for certification to the Energy Commission?

For deep-dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts, the Energy Commission requires only one sample of a model to be tested for certification. For any numerical value required to be reported, the reported value may be “less efficient” than the tested value, as long as it still meets the standards. (Section 1606(a)(3)(E)) However maximum arc power must be reported as tested to ensure that the weighted ballast luminous efficacy equation calculates correctly.

The sample for certification is different from the sample for enforcement. When enforcing the appliance efficiency standards, the Energy Commission first tests one sample of a model. If the sample passes, then no further test is conducted. If the product fails, then the Energy Commission tests a second sample of the same model. The results are then averaged to determine whether the product complies with the applicable appliance efficiency standards. (Section 1608(e))