New eco-standards announced for ventilation units

Ventilation units will have to comply with energy performance and labelling rules from 2016, after Brussels published new regulations this week.

The requirements seek to reduce the energy consumption of ventilation units while taking account of energy savings from space heating compared to natural ventilation.

The standards are split between residential and non-residential ventilation units although industry says there is some overlap in the market. Minimum energy efficiency requirements will be introduced in two steps from 2016 and 2018. The regulation also includes maximum noise limits for residential units.

EPEE, representing air-conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump industry, said the new rules will ensure a good indoor air quality in living spaces and contribute directly to improving energy efficiency in Europe.

But it regretted the limited transition period until 1 January 2016, which it says gives the industry inadequate time to adapt their products to make them compliant.

The minimum requirements for non-residential units “lead to better products, but they also lead to bigger units” requiring more space, Claus Haendel of European ventilation association EVIA told ENDS.

He added that the new heat recovery requirements traditionally exist in Scandinavia but may prove difficult to achieve in southern Europe.

Small units with an electric power input of less than 30W were excluded from the minimum standards at this stage due to low energy-saving potential relative to the administrative burden of market surveillance.

Additionally, energy labelling rules were adopted for residential units. From 2016, suppliers will have to equip products with a label indicating their energy efficiency on a scale from ‘A+’ to ‘G’ as well as its sound power level in decibels.

Non-residential units will not be labelled as they are more likely to be custom-made and bought by professionals with a good knowledge of the product specifications.