Energy Star Revises Program for Residential Ventilating Fans

April 1, 2009

AMCA International, the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI), and Energy Star recently teamed up to revise the Energy Star program requirements for residential ventilating fans. The goal was to provide residential consumers with energy-efficient, quality ventilation products without sacrificing features, style, or comfort.

This collaborative effort resulted in revising the testing requirements, and partners (companies that participate in the Energy Star program) now have more options as to where they can test their products for Energy Star qualification, including AMCA’s testing laboratory at the AMCA headquarters in Arlington Heights, Ill.

The revised program went into effect on January 15, 2009. The new requirements in the program do not grant exclusive rights to any organization to certify, verify, or challenge-test Energy Star-qualified products or products applying for Energy Star qualification. At the same time, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has maintained the requirement on the part of the partner to have its Energy Star-qualified products ratings certified by an organization that regularly carries out verification and challenge testing in order to allow the EPA to verify that products meet the Energy Star requirements.

The most essential factors in demonstrating a certification organization’s ability to meet the expectations of the Energy Star ventilating fan program include:

  • Laboratory verification testing

  • Defining challenge testing requirements

  • Product rating limits

  • Membership requirements

  • Availability of the certification organization’s procedures

  • Organization must share the results with the EPA

  • Testing must be performed in an independent, third-party laboratory.

The program is designed to include range hoods (up to 500 cfm), bathroom and utility room fans (from 10 to 500 cfm), and in-line single-port and multiport ventilating fans. Products that are excluded from this specification include residential ventilating fans used for cooling or air circulation (such as whole house fans), heat/energy recovery ventilation fans ducted to the ventilated space, powered attic ventilators, and residential ventilating fans with heat lamps and passive ventilation of any kind.

“The collaboration between AMCA, HVI, and Energy Star has resulted in a win-win situation for all parties involved,” says Tim Orris, AMCA’s director of technical services. “AMCA and HVI gain the recognition of their certification programs, and the consumer will benefit from having unbiased, accurate data on which to make a purchasing decision.”