Consistent, industry-wide performance testing is now available for the entire fan industry – including large fans! The industry’s irregular measurement practices are coming to an end. As mandated by the Department of Energy (DOE), all manufacturers must remove all fan performance data and replace it with new data gathered through the new testing methods. If companies don’t participate in the new testing, they may not publish any fan performance data.
New Fan Performance Testing Methods
For the first time, the DOE is including fans over 7-feet in its testing methods. The DOE adopted AMCA 230-15 which lays out the many performance measurements necessary to ensure uniform methods for laboratory testing. Most notably, the final performance rating is a compilation of the following:
- 5 different speeds (100%, 80%, 60%, 40% and 20%)
- Standby mode power consumption
Read the DOE’s Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Ceiling Fans for a complete explanation of the new testing methods.
The Testing’s Impact on the Fan Industry
Because this test is radically different from its predecessors, performance data will change drastically. Regardless of the testing method, a fan’s performance and the user’s experience will remain exactly the same. But since the measurement has changed, the metrics will change too. Performance data is expected to decrease about 30% across all manufacturers.
All energy usage and efficiency claims must reference data from the new testing methods. This means that any documents that reference CFM, Watts, CFM/Watt, or energy usage can’t be published anymore. Some fan manufacturers received 180-day extensions and therefore may leave their old energy usage and efficiency claims posted until early summer.
Upcoming Energy Efficiency Requirements
The DOE’s upcoming energy requirements for ceiling fans are published: Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Ceiling Fans. From this document we learn that the new efficiency standard will be required of all fan manufacturers in 2020.* Failing to meet the standards will prevent manufacturers from bringing their products to market.
In January of 2017, a regulatory freeze mandated by the white house, froze this conservation standard. An additional delay is now in effect to provide the Secretary of Energy more time to review these energy conservation standards. Because of these delays, the DOE has postponed the effective date of these energy efficiency requirements until September of 2017.
Moving Forward with Better Fan Performance Data
The new DOE standards bring about an exciting time in the HVLS fan industry. Transparency and honest performance data is critical, and seeing the entire industry embrace uniform testing and consistent performance metrics is encouraging. Cheers to an advancing industry!