[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 94 (Tuesday, May 15, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 28673-28702]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-10993]



[[Page 28673]]

Vol. 77

Tuesday,

No. 94

May 15, 2012

Part II





Department of Energy





-----------------------------------------------------------------------





10 CFR Parts 429 and 430





Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Test Procedures for 
Residential Furnace Fans; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 15, 2012 / Proposed 
Rules

[[Page 28674]]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Parts 429 and 430

[Docket No. EERE-2010-BT-TP-0010]
RIN 1904-AC21


Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Test 
Procedures for Residential Furnace Fans

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 
Energy.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking and announcement of public 
meeting.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposes to establish test 
procedures for residential products that use electricity for purposes 
of circulating air through duct work, hereafter referred to as 
``furnace fans.'' Specifically, this notice proposes to establish a 
test method for measuring the airflow performance and electrical 
consumption of these products. Concurrently, DOE is undertaking an 
energy conservation standards rulemaking to address the electrical 
energy used by these products for circulating air. Once these energy 
conservation standards are promulgated, the adopted test procedures 
will be used to determine compliance with the standards. DOE is also 
announcing a public meeting to discuss and receive comments on issues 
presented in this test procedure rulemaking.

DATES: Meeting: DOE will hold a public meeting on Friday, June 15, 
2012, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Washington, DC. The meeting will also 
be broadcast as a webinar. See section V, ``Public Participation,'' for 
webinar information, participant instructions, and information about 
the capabilities available to webinar participants.
    Comments: DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding 
this notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) before and after the public 
meeting, but no later than July 30, 2012. For details, see section V, 
``Public Participation,'' of this NOPR.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at the U.S. Department of 
Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 8E-089 1000 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20585. To attend, please notify Ms. Brenda Edwards at 
(202) 586-2945. Please note that foreign nationals visiting DOE 
Headquarters are subject to advance security screening procedures. Any 
foreign national wishing to participate in the meeting should advise 
DOE as soon as possible by contacting Ms. Edwards at the phone number 
above to initiate the necessary procedures. Please also note that any 
person wishing to bring a laptop computer into the Forrestal Building 
will be required to obtain a property pass. Visitors should avoid 
bringing laptops, or allow an extra 45 minutes. Persons may also attend 
the public meeting via webinar. For more information, refer to section 
V, ``Public Participation,'' of this NOPR.
    Any comments submitted must identify the NOPR on Test Procedures 
for Residential Furnace Fans, and provide docket number EERE-2010-BT-
TP-0010 and/or regulatory information number (RIN) number 1904-AC21. 
Comments may be submitted using any of the following methods:
    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
    2. Email: FurnFans-2010-TP-0010@ee.doe.gov Include docket number 
EERE-2010-BT-TP-0010 and RIN 1904-AC21 in the subject line of the 
message.
    3. Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building 
Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all items on a 
compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed 
copies.
    4. Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 
600, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If possible, 
please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to 
include printed copies.
    No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted. For detailed 
instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the 
rulemaking process, see section V of this document (Public 
Participation).
    Docket: The docket is available for review at www.regulations.gov, 
including Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee lists and 
transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials. All 
documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. 
However, not all documents listed in the index may be publicly 
available, such as information that is exempt from public disclosure.
    A link to the docket web page can be found at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/furnace_fans.html. This web page contains a link to the docket for 
this notice on the www.regulations.gov site. The www.regulations.gov 
web page contains simple instructions on how to access all documents, 
including public comments, in the docket. See section V, ``Public 
Participation,'' for information on how to submit comments through 
www.regulations.gov.
    For further information on how to submit a comment, review other 
public comments and the docket, or participate in the public meeting, 
contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 or by email: 
Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Mohammed Khan, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy 
Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, EE-2J, 
1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: 
(202) 586-7892. Email: Mohammed.Khan@ee.doe.gov.
Mr. Eric Stas, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General 
Counsel, GC-71, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-
0121. Telephone: (202) 586-9507. Email: Eric.Stas@hq.doe.gov.
    For information on how to submit or review public comments, contact 
Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies 
Program, EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-
0121. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. Email: Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Authority and Background
II. Summary of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
III. Discussion
    A. Scope
    B. Definitions
    C. Reference Standard
    D. Rating Metric
    E. Reference System
    F. Performance Curves
    1. Number of Airflow-Control Settings
    2. Number of Determinations
    G. Standby Mode and Off Mode Energy Consumption
    1. Residential Furnaces and Central Air Conditioner Products
    2. Hydronic Air Handlers
    H. Methodology for Deriving the Fan Efficiency Rating
    I. Sampling Plans and Certification Report Requirements for 
Residential Furnace Fans
IV. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review
    A. Review Under Executive Order 12866
    B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act
    C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
    D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
    E. Review Under Executive Order 13132
    F. Review Under Executive Order 12988
    G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

[[Page 28675]]

    H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act, 1999
    I. Review Under Executive Order 12630
    J. Review Under Treasury and General Government Appropriations 
Act, 2001
    K. Review Under Executive Order 13211
    L. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration 
Act of 1974
V. Public Participation
    A. Attendance at Public Meeting
    B. Procedure for Submitting Requests to Speak and Prepared 
General Statements for Distribution
    C. Conduct of Public Meeting
    D. Submission of Comments
    E. Issues on Which DOE Seeks Comment
    1. Airflow-Control Setting Function Designations
    2. Operating Hour Values for Calculating the Fan Efficiency 
Rating
    3. Reference System ESP Values
    4. Multiple Reference System Method
    5. Standby Mode and Off Mode Electrical Energy Consumption for 
Furnace Fans Used in Hydronic Air Handlers
    6. Controlling ECM Motors for Testing
    7. Test Setup
    8. External Static Pressure
    9. Ambient Pressure Conditions
    10. Sampling Plan Procedures and Certification Report 
Requirements
VI. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

I. Authority and Background

    Title III, Part B \1\ of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 
1975 (EPCA or the Act), Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as 
codified) sets forth a variety of provisions designed to improve energy 
efficiency and established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer 
Products Other Than Automobiles, a program covering most major 
household appliances.\2\ These include products that use electricity 
for the purposes of circulating air through duct work, hereinafter 
referred to as ``residential furnace fans'' or simply ``furnace fans,'' 
the subject of today's notice. (42 U.S.C. 6295(f)(4)(D)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, 
Part B was redesignated Part A.
    \2\ All references to EPCA in this rulemaking refer to the 
statute as amended through the Energy Independence and Security Act 
of 2007, Public Law 110-140.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under the Act, this program consists essentially of four parts: (1) 
Testing; (2) labeling; (3) Federal energy conservation standards; and 
(4) certification and enforcement procedures. The testing requirements 
consist of test procedures that manufacturers of covered products must 
use as the basis for certifying to DOE that their products comply with 
the applicable energy conservation standards adopted pursuant to EPCA 
and for making representations about the efficiency of those products. 
(42 U.S.C. 6293(c); 42 U.S.C. 6295(s)). Similarly, DOE must use these 
test procedures in any enforcement action to determine whether covered 
products comply with these energy conservation standards. (42 U.S.C. 
6295(s)).

General Test Procedure Rulemaking Process

    Under 42 U.S.C. 6293, EPCA sets forth the criteria and procedures 
DOE must follow when prescribing or amending test procedures for 
covered products. EPCA provides in relevant part that any test 
procedures prescribed or amended under this section shall be reasonably 
designed to produce test results which measure energy efficiency, 
energy use, or estimated annual operating cost of a covered product 
during a representative average use cycle or period of use and shall 
not be unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)). In 
addition, if DOE determines that a test procedure amendment is 
warranted, it must publish proposed test procedures and offer the 
public an opportunity to present oral and written comments on them. (42 
U.S.C. 6293(b)(2)). Finally, in any rulemaking to amend a test 
procedure, DOE must determine to what extent, if any, the proposed test 
procedure would alter the measured energy efficiency of a covered 
product as determined under the existing test procedure. (42 U.S.C. 
6293(e)(1)). If DOE determines that the amended test procedure would 
alter the measured efficiency of a covered product, DOE must amend the 
applicable energy conservation standard accordingly. (42 U.S.C. 
6293(e)(2)).
    On December 19, 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 
2007 (EISA 2007), Public Law 110-140, was enacted. The EISA 2007 
amendments to EPCA, in relevant part, require DOE to amend the test 
procedures for all covered products to include measures of standby mode 
and off mode energy consumption.\3\ Specifically, section 310 of EISA 
2007 provides definitions of ``standby mode'' and ``off mode'' (42 
U.S.C. 6295(gg)(1)(B)). The statute requires integration of such energy 
consumption into the overall energy efficiency, energy consumption, or 
other energy descriptor for each covered product, unless the Secretary 
determines that: (1) The current test procedures for a covered product 
already fully account for and incorporate the standby mode and off mode 
energy consumption of the covered product; or (2) such an integrated 
test procedure is technically infeasible for a particular covered 
product, in which case the Secretary shall prescribe a separate standby 
mode and off mode energy use test procedure for the covered product, if 
technically feasible. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(2)(A)). Under the statutory 
provisions adopted by EISA 2007, any such amendment must consider the 
most current versions of the International Electrotechnical Commission 
(IEC) Standard 62301, Household electrical appliances--Measurement of 
standby power, and IEC Standard 62087, Methods of measurement for the 
power consumption of audio, video, and related equipment.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Given EISA 2007's focus on comprehensively addressing 
standby mode and off mode energy consumption and in order to 
conserve limited resources, DOE believes it is appropriate to 
address these issues in this new test procedure, rather than needing 
to wait for a subsequent rulemaking to ``amend'' the test procedure.
    \4\ EISA 2007 directs DOE to also consider IEC Standard 62087 
when amended its test procedures to include standby mode and off 
mode energy consumption. See 42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(2)(A). However, IEC 
Standard 62087 addresses the methods of measuring the power 
consumption of audio, video, and related equipment. Accordingly, the 
narrow scope of this particular IEC standard reduces its relevance 
to today's proposal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pursuant to EPCA under 42 U.S.C. 6295(f)(4)(D), DOE is currently 
conducting a rulemaking to consider new energy conservation standards 
for furnace fans. EPCA directs DOE to establish test procedures in 
conjunction with new or amended energy conservation standards, 
including furnace fans. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(A). To fulfill these 
requirements, DOE is simultaneously initiating a test procedure 
rulemaking for furnace fans. DOE intends for the test procedure to 
include: (1) An annual electrical energy consumption metric normalized 
by total annual operating hours and airflow capacity in the maximum 
airflow-control setting; and (2) the methods necessary to measure the 
performance of the covered products. The metric will also account for 
the electrical energy consumption in standby mode and off mode for 
furnace fans used in heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) 
products for which consumption in those modes is not already fully 
accounted for in other DOE rulemakings. Manufacturers will be required 
to use these methods and this metric for the purposes of verifying 
compliance with the new energy conservation standards when they take 
effect.
    DOE does not currently have a test procedure for furnace fans. On 
June 3, 2010, DOE published a Notice of Public Meeting and Availability 
of the Framework Document to initiate the energy conservation standard 
rulemaking for furnace fans. 75 FR 31323. DOE posted the furnace fans

[[Page 28676]]

framework document, hereinafter referred to as the June 2010 framework 
document, to its Web site. In the June 2010 framework document, DOE 
requested feedback from interested parties on many issues related to 
test methods for evaluating the electrical energy consumption of 
furnace fans. DOE held the framework public meeting on June 18, 2010. 
DOE originally scheduled the framework comment period to close on July 
6, 2010. However, due to the large number and broad scope of questions 
and issues raised in the June 2010 framework document (and during the 
public meeting), DOE subsequently published a notice in the Federal 
Register reopening the comment period from July 15, 2010 until July 27, 
2010, to allow additional time for interested parties to submit 
comments. 75 FR 41102 (July 15, 2010).

II. Summary of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    In this notice of proposed rulemaking, DOE proposes to establish a 
test method for measuring the electrical energy consumption of furnace 
fans, as well as airflow performance (which has a direct effect on 
efficiency), and the standby mode and off mode energy consumption of 
such fans. DOE intends for the proposed test procedure to be broadly 
applicable to electrically-powered devices used in residential central 
HVAC systems for the purposes of circulating air through duct work 
(i.e., furnace fans). Furnace fans include, but are not limited to, the 
air distribution fans used in weatherized and non-weatherized gas 
furnaces, oil furnaces, electric furnaces, modular blowers, and 
hydronic air handlers. The proposed test procedure is not intended to 
be applicable to any non-ducted products, such as whole-house 
ventilation systems without duct work, central air-conditioning (CAC) 
condensing unit fans, room fans, and furnace draft inducer fans.
    Pursuant to EPCA, DOE must establish these test procedures in order 
to allow for the development of energy conservation standards that will 
address the electrical consumption of these products. (42 U.S.C. 
6295(o)(3)(A)) As further required by EPCA, the NOPR also includes 
proposed methods for measuring the standby mode and off mode electrical 
energy consumption for furnace fans used in HVAC products, to the 
extent that electrical energy consumption in these modes is not already 
covered (i.e., the NOPR proposes standby mode and off mode test methods 
for hydronic air handlers). (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(2)(A)) DOE proposes to 
integrate measurements for standby mode and off mode electrical energy 
consumption with the active mode energy consumption in the proposed 
metric for hydronic air handlers. DOE's proposed approach to these test 
procedure issues is summarized below and addressed in further detail 
later in this notice.
    To rate the electrical efficiency of furnace fans (active mode 
energy consumption), DOE proposes to incorporate by reference into the 
test procedure specific provisions from American National Standards 
Institute (ANSI)/Air Movement and Control Association International, 
Inc. (AMCA) 210-07 [bond] ANSI/American Society of Heating, 
Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 51-07, Laboratory 
Methods of Testing Fans for Certified Aerodynamic Performance Rating, 
hereinafter referred to as ``ANSI/AMCA 210-07.'' The specific 
provisions DOE proposes to include from ANSI/AMCA 210-07 are 
definitions, test setup and equipment, test conditions, and procedures 
for measuring airflow and external static pressure. In addition to 
these provisions, DOE proposes provisions for measuring electrical 
energy consumption using an electrical power meter. DOE also proposes 
to specify the methods for measuring standby mode and off mode energy 
consumption from the DOE residential furnaces test procedure to measure 
energy consumption in these modes for hydronic air handlers. (10 CFR 
part 430, subpart B, appendix N, section 8.0) In addition, DOE proposes 
calculations to derive the rating metric (i.e., fan efficiency rating) 
based on the measured values.
    DOE proposes to use as the furnace fan efficiency rating metric the 
``estimated annual electrical energy consumption'' normalized by: (a) 
The total number of annual operating hours, and (b) the airflow in the 
maximum airflow-control setting in standard cubic feet per minute. 
Standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) is a measure of airflow corrected 
for predetermined standard air conditions. The estimated annual 
electrical energy consumption, as proposed, is a weighted average of 
the input power (in Watts) measured separately for multiple airflow-
control settings at different external static pressures (ESPs). These 
ESPs are determined by a reference system that represents national 
average duct work system characteristics. The airflow-control settings 
proposed to be rated correspond to operation in cooling mode, heating 
mode, and constant-circulation mode. Table II.1 illustrates the 
airflow-control settings that will be rated for various product types.

                       Table II.1--Proposed Rated Airflow-control Settings by Product Type
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Rated airflow-control    Rated airflow-control    Rated  airflow-control
           Product type                      setting 1                setting 2                setting 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Single-stage Heating..............  Default constant-           Default heat.........  Maximum.
                                     circulation.
Multi-stage or Modulating Heating.  Default constant-           Default low heat.....  Maximum.
                                     circulation.
Heating-only......................  Default constant-           None.................  Maximum.
                                     circulation.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For products with single-stage heating, the three proposed rating 
airflow-control settings are the maximum setting, the default heating 
setting, and the default constant-circulation setting. For products 
with multi-stage heating or modulating heating, the proposed rating 
airflow-control settings are the maximum setting, the default low 
heating setting, and the default constant-circulation setting. For 
products that are not designed to be paired with an evaporator coil, 
hereinafter referred to as ``heating-only products,'' the proposed 
rating airflow-control settings are the maximum airflow-control setting 
(expected to be the default heat airflow-control setting) and the 
default constant-circulation setting. The lowest default airflow-
control setting is used to represent constant circulation if a 
constant-circulation setting is not specified. DOE proposes to weight 
the Watt measurements using designated annual operating hours for each 
function (i.e., cooling, heating, and constant circulation) that are 
intended to represent national average operation. The specified 
operating hours for the heating mode for multi-stage heating or 
modulating heating products are modified to account for variation in

[[Page 28677]]

time spent in this mode associated with turndown of heating output.
    DOE also proposes to establish methods for measuring the standby 
mode and off mode electrical energy consumption of furnace fans for 
which consumption in these modes is not already covered by existing 
standards or currently proposed amendments to those standards (i.e., 
the NOPR proposes standby mode and off mode test methods for hydronic 
air handlers). EPCA requires that DOE integrate into the energy 
conservation standard the energy use associated with standby mode and 
off mode, unless the current standard already accounts for standby mode 
and off mode energy consumption or integration is not technically 
feasible. In the latter case, EPCA requires that DOE prescribe a 
separate efficiency standard to address standby mode and off mode 
energy use, unless that is not feasible. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(3)) DOE 
efficiency metrics for furnaces already fully account for the energy 
use associated with the standby mode and off mode of their furnace 
fans. (10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix N, section 8.0) On 
September 13, 2011, DOE published a NOPR in the Federal Register 
proposing to update the DOE test procedure for furnaces through 
incorporation by reference of the latest edition of the relevant 
industry standard, specifically IEC Standard 62301 (Second Edition). 76 
FR 56339. For central air conditioners (CAC), DOE has proposed such 
metrics in a notice of proposed rulemaking. 75 FR 31224, 31270 (June 2, 
2010). Subsequently, DOE published two supplemental notices of proposed 
rulemaking (SNOPR). DOE published the first SNOPR on April 1, 2011 (76 
FR 18105) and the second SNOPR on October 24, 2011 (76 FR 65616). 
Hence, including standby mode and off mode energy use in the furnace 
fan efficiency metric for these HVAC products would not be appropriate, 
because it is already fully addressed. Products for which standby mode 
and off mode energy use is already accounted elsewhere include 
weatherized and non-weatherized gas furnaces, oil furnaces, electric 
furnaces, and modular blowers. However, test procedures that include 
measurement of furnace fan standby mode and off mode energy consumption 
have been neither established nor proposed for hydronic air handlers, 
so DOE proposes to do so in this rulemaking.

III. Discussion

A. Scope

    Under 42 U.S.C. 6295(f)(4)(D), EPCA directs DOE to consider and 
prescribe standards for electricity used for purposes of circulating 
air through duct work. Although the title of this statutory section 
refers to ``furnaces and boilers,'' this particular provision was 
written using notably broader language than the other provisions within 
the same section. Consequently, in the June 2010 framework document for 
the energy conservation standards rulemaking, DOE tentatively 
interpreted this relevant statutory language to allow DOE to cover the 
electricity used by any electrically-powered device used in 
residential, central HVAC systems for the purpose of circulating air 
through duct work. 75 FR 31323 (June 3, 2010).
    Ultimately, the scope of applicability of the proposed test 
procedure will be determined by the scope of coverage of the energy 
conservation standards rulemaking for furnace fans. Therefore, DOE 
proposes a scope of applicability for this notice that is broad enough 
to cover the products currently under consideration for the energy 
conservation standards rulemaking, including single-phase, 
electrically-powered devices that circulate air through duct work in 
HVAC systems with heating input capacities less than 225,000 Btu per 
hour, cooling capacities less than 65,000 Btu per hour, and airflow 
capacities less than 3,000 cfm. These specifications are consistent 
with the DOE definitions for residential ``furnace'' and ``central air 
conditioner'' (10 CFR 430.2), and the airflow typically required to 
provide these levels of heating and cooling. DOE proposes to exclude 
from the scope of applicability of the test procedure any non-ducted 
products, such as whole-house ventilation systems without duct work, 
CAC condensing unit fans, room fans, and furnace draft inducer fans 
because these products do not circulate air through duct work. DOE 
believes this proposed scope of applicability is broad enough to 
anticipate the scope of coverage of the energy conservation standard.

B. Definitions

    DOE proposes to incorporate by reference in section 2 of Appendix 
AA to Subpart B of Part 430, all definitions in section 3.1 of ANSI/
AMCA 210-07. DOE also proposes to include in section 2 of Appendix AA 
to Subpart B of Part 430 the additional and modified definitions listed 
below:
     Active mode means any mode in which the HVAC product is 
connected to the power source and circulating air through duct work.
     Airflow-control settings are differing ranges of airflow 
that a fan motor is programmed or wired to achieve in a single control 
system configuration (i.e., without manual adjustments) often 
designated for performing a specific HVAC function (e.g., cooling, 
heating, or constant circulation).
     ANSI/AMCA 210-07 means the test standard published by 
ANSI/AMCA 210-07 [bond] ANSI/ASHRAE 51-07 titled ``Laboratory Methods 
of Testing Fans for Certified Aerodynamic Performance Rating.''
     Default airflow-control settings are the airflow-control 
settings that can be achieved in the factory-set control system 
configuration (i.e., without manual adjustment other than interaction 
with a user-operable control such as a thermostat).
     External static pressure means the difference between the 
fan total pressure at the air outlet and the total pressure at the air 
inlet less velocity pressure at the air outlet of an HVAC product 
containing a furnace fan when operating and installed in accordance 
with the manufacturer's instructions. External static pressure does not 
include the pressure drop across appurtenances internal to the HVAC 
product.
     Hydronic air handler means a furnace designed to supply 
heat through a system of ducts with air as the heating medium, in which 
heat is generated by hot water flowing through a hydronic heating coil 
and the heated air is circulated by means of a fan or blower.
     Off mode means the mode during which the HVAC product is 
not powered.
     Residential furnace fan means an electrically-powered 
device used in residential central heating, ventilation, and air-
conditioning (HVAC) systems for the purpose of circulating air through 
duct work.
     Seasonal off switch means the switch on the HVAC product 
that, when activated, results in a measurable change in energy 
consumption between the standby and off modes.
     Standby mode means the mode during which the HVAC product 
is connected to the power source and the furnace fan is not activated.

C. Reference Standard

    In the June 2010 framework document for the furnace fans energy 
conservation standards rulemaking, DOE requested interested-party 
comments on the methods specified in the December 2009 draft version of 
Canadian Standard CSA C823, Performance Standard for Air Handlers in 
Residential Space Conditioning Systems, which references ANSI/AMCA 210-
07 and ANSI/ASHRAE Std 37-2005, Methods of Testing for Rating 
Electrically Driven Unitary Air-Conditioning and Heat

[[Page 28678]]

Pump Equipment. The December 2009 draft CSA C823 test procedure 
specifies use of the methods described in the aforementioned industry 
standards to measure the electrical power consumption of a furnace fan 
at specific operating points in each of a furnace fan's available 
airflow-control settings. The December 2009 draft of CSA C823 includes 
a rating metric with units of kWh that is called the annual electricity 
consumption rating (AECR). This rating is a time-weighted sum of the 
energy use measurements.
    Rheem and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration 
Institute (AHRI) stated that ANSI/AMCA 210-07 is a well-known and 
widely-used reference test procedure (Rheem, No. 29 at pp. 4-5; AHRI, 
No. 20 at pp. 3-4). Rheem recommended that DOE use ANSI/AMCA 210-07 as 
its reference test procedure (Rheem, No. 29 at pp. 4-5). AHRI proposed 
basing the standard on ANSI/AHRI Standard 210-240-2008, but conceded 
that this test method might increase burden because it is different 
from the way furnaces are currently tested (AHRI, No. 20 at p. 5). 
Ingersoll Rand suggested that DOE use the methods specified in DOE's 
existing residential furnace test procedure codified in 10 CFR part 
430, subpart B, appendix N, because the test procedures referenced in 
CSA C823 (i.e., ANSI/AMCA 210-07) would add test burden by requiring 
additional test measurements and an alternate test set-up. (Ingersoll 
Rand, No. 12 at p. 1)
    After carefully considering these comments, DOE is proposing to 
incorporate by reference ANSI/AMCA 210-07. DOE believes that ANSI/AMCA 
210-07 is an appropriate reference standard because it is a well-known 
and widely-used industry standard for measuring fan performance. DOE is 
aware that manufacturers use ANSI/AMCA 210-07 to generate the airflow 
performance data tables that they publish in product specification 
sheets. These tables include measurements of airflow (and sometimes 
electrical consumption) at various ESPs across a wide range. These 
tables and comments from interested parties indicate that manufacturers 
already possess or have access to test facilities suitable for ANSI/
AMCA 210-07 testing. DOE also expects that manufacturers are practiced 
in or at least familiar with the methods necessary to take these 
measurements. AHRI stated that manufacturers currently perform furnace 
fan tests according to ANSI/AMCA 210-07 to generate airflow data for 
intended application of products (AHRI, No. 21 at pp. 3, 4). For these 
reasons, DOE does not expect that these methods would be overly 
burdensome to manufacturers. In addition, ANSI/AMCA 210-07 is more 
suitable for measuring airflow and electrical consumption across a 
range of ESPs and in multiple airflow-control settings; in contrast, 
the DOE residential furnace test procedure and ANSI/AHRI 210-240-2008 
specify methods for measuring these parameters in a single airflow-
control setting per heating stage as long as a minimum ESP has been 
achieved. The benefits of measuring performance in multiple airflow-
control settings is discussed in detail in section III.F.1 While the 
ESP values specified in the DOE residential furnace test procedure and 
ANSI/AHRI 210-240-2008 are appropriate for rating furnaces, they are 
inconsistent with the values determined to be appropriate for rating 
furnace fan electrical performance, as proposed in this notice. A 
detailed discussion of the ESP values proposed in this notice compared 
to the suggested methods is provided in section III.E.
    DOE proposes to incorporate by reference most aspects of ANSI/AMCA 
210-07, except for specifications related to measuring rotational 
speed, beam load, torque, and mechanical measurement of input power. 
Specifically, DOE proposes to incorporate by reference the following 
provisions from ANSI/AMCA 210-07:
     Definitions, units of measure, and symbols (section 3);
     Instruments and methods of measurement (sections 4.1 
through 4.3 and 4.6), excluding those for mechanical measurement of fan 
input power and motor calibration (section 4.4) and rotational speed 
(section 4.5);
     Test setup and equipment provisions (section 5) and 
observation and conduct of test guidelines (section 6), excluding test 
data to be recorded for rotational speed (N), beam load (F), or torque 
(T);
     Calculations (sections 7.1 through 7.7 and section 7.9), 
excluding calculations for fan power input or fan efficiency (sections 
7.7 and 7.8); and
     Report and results of test requirements (section 8).
    In addition to the methods incorporated by reference from ANSI/AMCA 
210-07, DOE proposes to include specification of the range and 
increments of ESPs at which determinations are to be made. ANSI/AMCA 
210-07 defines a ``determination'' as a complete set of measurements 
for a particular point of operation for a fan. For this notice, a 
complete set of measurements at a particular point of operation 
includes airflow, electrical consumption, and ESP.
    DOE also proposes to include provisions for using an electrical 
meter to measure electrical energy consumption at each determination to 
replace the mechanical methods specified in section 4.4 of ANSI/AMCA 
210-07. The proposed provisions are necessary because measuring 
electrical energy consumption using electrical power meters is a more 
widely used method by manufacturers of HVAC products. In addition, the 
voltage requirements in ANSI/AMCA 210-07 are specified in relation to 
the results of its specified motor calibration procedure (section 
4.4.1.1), which DOE is not proposing to adopt in this notice. The 
proposed voltage requirements are consistent with those included in the 
DOE test procedures for residential furnaces and central air 
conditioners and heat pumps and are, therefore, also widely used by 
HVAC product manufacturers. DOE proposes to specify the use of an 
electrical meter with a certified accuracy of 1 percent of 
observed readings to measure the electrical input power consumption of 
the HVAC product in which the furnace fan is incorporated at each 
determination. In addition, DOE proposes to specify that the electrical 
power supplied to the HVAC product be maintained within 1 percent of 
the nameplate voltage of the HVAC product. If a dual voltage is used 
for nameplate voltage, DOE proposes that the electrical supply be 
maintained within 1 percent of the higher voltage.

D. Rating Metric

    In the June 2010 framework document, DOE requested comment to aid 
in determining an appropriate metric for rating furnace fan 
performance. Specifically, DOE identified two possible metrics: (1) the 
annual electrical energy consumption rating (AECR), as specified in the 
December 2009 draft version of Canadian Standard Association (CSA) 
C823, Performance Standard for Air Handlers in Residential Space 
Conditioning Systems, and (2) the blower power measurement (BE), as 
specified in the current DOE test procedure for residential furnaces 
codified in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix N. AECR uses operating 
hour multipliers based on climate, consumer behavior assumptions, and 
product characteristics (e.g., multi-stage or modulating heating and 
cooling capability) to weight electrical consumption measurements in 
all possible airflow-control settings in order to estimate the annual 
electrical energy consumption of furnace fans, reported in kilowatt 
hours (kWh). BE is a

[[Page 28679]]

measurement of the steady-state power consumption of furnace fans in 
watts (W) at a minimum ESP determined by fuel type and input capacity.
    Several interested parties stated that using an annualized energy 
consumption rating metric, such as AECR, is inappropriate for rating 
furnace fan performance. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient 
Economy (ACEEE) commented that it is not sure that fans can be rated 
both simply and meaningfully using a single certifiable number, like 
AECR, because of the diversity of expected furnace fan electricity 
consumption levels, depending on house size, duct restrictions, local 
climate, whether the unit is run in full-time ``circulate'' mode, and 
myriad other factors. (ACEEE, No. 19 at p. 2) Ingersoll Rand stated 
that adopting a rule that estimates the annualized energy usage would 
be confusing and misleading to consumers, as operating hours vary 
greatly across the country and from house to house. (Ingersoll Rand, 
No. 25 at p. 1) AHRI commented that an annual electrical energy 
consumption metric is not appropriate because of variations in climate, 
usage patterns, and installation. (AHRI, No. 21 at p. 3) Rheem 
expressed a similar view, that a less complicated, less specific, and 
less technically detailed energy descriptor would be a more powerful 
tool to guide HVAC professionals and consumers in the selection of 
energy-efficient equipment for specific climates, installations, and 
use patterns (Rheem, No. 29 at p. 1).
    Many interested parties stated that cubic feet per minute per watt 
(cfm/W), or a similar efficiency metric should be used to rate furnace 
fan performance. The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP) 
recommended that the efficiency metric be based on cfm/W or watts per 
cubic feet per minute (W/cfm). According to NEEP, this approach would 
avoid making the calculation overly complicated and potentially watered 
down with conditional assumptions, which contribute to a very difficult 
and, potentially, misleading metric to use for comparison. (NEEP, No. 
16 at p. 3) Ingersoll Rand stated that the use of the single 
descriptor, cfm/W, provides the most direct way to compare furnace fan 
performance regardless of geography and how closely the furnace is 
sized to the house load. (Ingersoll Rand, No. 25 at p. 1) The Northwest 
Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) recommended use of an air-delivery 
efficiency metric, such as cfm/W, to avoid the expectedly large 
standard deviation of actual energy use values around the rating value, 
which would be misleading for most installations. (NEEA, No. 9 at p. 2) 
Regal Beloit and the American Gas Association (AGA) also expressed 
support for the use of a rating metric expressed in cfm/W or W/cfm. 
(Regal Beloit, No. 32 at p. 3 and AGA, No. 7 at p. 101)
    Interested parties also suggested a number of alternative metrics. 
AHRI and certain manufacturers, including Rheem, Nordyne, and Lennox, 
suggested that DOE use ``e,'' a dimensionless descriptor that expresses 
the electrical consumption of a furnace, including electrical 
components other than the furnace fan, as a percentage of its total 
(electrical and fuel) energy consumption. The ``e'' metric is a 
function of the average annual auxiliary electrical energy consumption, 
Eae. Eae is a well-known industry metric that is 
specified in the current DOE test procedure for residential furnaces. 
The ``e'' metric is currently used to determine furnace eligibility for 
Federal tax credits. (AHRI, No. 21 at p. 4, Rheem, No. 29 at p. 3; 
Nordyne, No. 31 at p. 2; and Lennox, No. 23 at p. 2) AHRI also 
recommended that DOE use ``eb.'' The ``eb'' 
metric is a ratio of the electrical energy consumed by the furnace fan 
to the total fuel and electrical energy consumed by the furnace. The 
ratio is similar to the ``e'' metric but differs in that the numerator 
only accounts for the electrical energy consumed by the furnace fan and 
not the total electrical consumption of the furnace. (AHRI No. 34 at 
pp. 1-3) Regal Beloit, a fan motor manufacturer, suggested that DOE use 
air horsepower (Air HP) to rate furnace fans. Air HP is the theoretical 
power required to deliver a specified quantity of air under a specified 
pressure condition and can be characterized as a function of the 
airflow, static pressure, and a constant. Regal Beloit did not provide 
details about the value or nature of the constant. (Regal Beloit, No. 
32 at p. 3) Nordyne suggested that DOE use the air mover efficiency 
ratio (AMER) if ``e'' is not used. AMER is the ratio of the heating 
output capacity and the power consumed by the furnace fan. For AMER, 
Nordyne recommended that power be measured at a rating point defined by 
an airflow that is 0.175 times the output capacity on the lowest speed 
tap that would yield that airflow at 0.5 in.w.c. (Nordyne, No. 31 at p. 
2) ACEEE recommended that DOE require furnace fan efficiency to be 
reported using three different energy consumption values that 
correspond to three different application classes: (1) Continuous 
circulation; (2) hot climate; and (3) average-to-cold climate (heating-
dominated air handler energy use). (ACEEE, No. 19 at p. 3)
    In order to determine an appropriate metric for furnace fan 
efficiency to propose in this notice, DOE carefully considered the 
suggestions and other points raised in public comments, and conducted 
additional research, as explained below. One tentative conclusion that 
DOE reached is that a furnace fan efficiency metric must capture 
operation at multiple key operating points. DOE's investigation of 
furnace fan performance data indicates that input power can drop 
dramatically as airflow is reduced. In addition, different furnace fans 
exhibit very different behavior with respect to their range of 
achievable airflows and the corresponding reduction in power input as 
airflow is reduced. DOE expects that examination of a furnace fan at a 
single operating point would not likely provide a full representation 
of energy use of a furnace fan in a typical installation. Therefore, 
DOE is proposing a metric that evaluates the furnace fan operation at 
multiple key operating points, as suggested by ACEEE. DOE proposes that 
the energy use in these modes is combined into a single metric, 
however, because DOE cannot set energy conservation standards based on 
multiple metrics.\5\ The incorporation of multiple operating points in 
evaluation of furnace fan efficiency would ensure that the operating 
characteristics throughout the expected operating range are accounted 
for in the efficiency metric, and would, thus, rate at higher 
efficiency a furnace fan with the potential for airflow-control setting 
reduction and with greater reduction in input power as airflow is 
reduced.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ EPCA defines ``energy conservation standard'' as a 
performance standard which prescribes a minimum level of energy 
efficiency or a maximum quantity of energy use for a covered 
product. (42 U.S.C. 6291(6)(A)) This definition does not allow 
prescription of multiple minimum levels of energy efficiency or 
maximum quantities of energy use, as would be required if multiple 
efficiency metrics were prescribed by the test procedure for energy 
conservation standards compliance purposes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another tentative conclusion which DOE reached was that, consistent 
with comments received from interested parties, a metric in units of 
watts per cfm at specified ESPs would provide a useful metric for 
interested parties to compare and evaluate furnace fan performance. DOE 
finds that interested parties are familiar with discussing fan 
efficiency in terms of watts per 1000 cfm, as this is how fan 
performance is estimated in the alternative rating method for coil-only 
CAC products. Accordingly, in DOE's proposed metric (discussed below), 
the average power

[[Page 28680]]

input is normalized by maximum airflow (in cfm), to allow for 
comparison across HVAC products of different capacities.
    Finally, DOE tentatively concluded that it would not be possible 
for a furnace fan efficiency metric to capture all aspects of field 
operation. Several interested parties pointed out the dependence of 
furnace fan operating hours in the field on a wide range of factors 
such as climate, house size, duct characteristics, etc., as discussed 
above. However, the field performance of many products is dependent on 
the range of field installation and operating conditions. For example, 
the integrated combined energy efficiency ratio (CEER) for room air 
conditioners is based on active mode operation for 750 hours in outdoor 
temperature conditions of 95 [deg]F dry bulb temperature and 75 [deg]F 
wet bulb temperature.\6\ A product's rating provides an indication of 
energy use in a typical installation, but actual field energy use may 
vary. The annual operating hours for the proposed fan efficiency 
metric, which allow calculation of typical annual energy use, are 
intended to be representative of typical national average hours, and 
they allow determination of annualized performance over a typical 
annual cycle.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ ``Wet bulb temperature'' is the temperature measured by a 
thermometer having its bulb cooled by a wet ``sock.'' The 
measurement gives an indication of the relative humidity of the 
surrounding air. For 95 [deg]F dry bulb and 75 [deg]F wet bulb 
temperatures at sea level under standard barometric pressure, the 
relative humidity is 40 percent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In light of the parameters discussed above, DOE proposes to use a 
new rating metric called the ``fan efficiency rating'' (FER). FER is 
not included in the aforementioned industry standards, but is derived 
from data collected using the methods specified in ANSI/AMCA 210-07. 
The proposed FER is the estimated annual electrical consumption 
normalized by total operating hours and the airflow measured in the 
maximum airflow-control setting at a specified ESP. The proposed 
estimate of annual electrical consumption is a weighted average of 
Watts measured separately for multiple airflow-control settings at 
different ESPs. These ESPs are determined by a reference system curve, 
which is developed using a specified airflow-control setting and ESP. 
This reference system curve is intended to represent typical duct work 
systems used for circulation of air. DOE determined the reference 
system criteria specified in this notice through analysis of measured 
ESP field data. Section III.E discusses in greater detail the reference 
system concept proposed in this notice.
    The airflow-control settings in which determinations are specified 
to be made depend on the number of heating stages that the HVAC product 
has and whether the HVAC product is designed to be used for cooling. 
Two-stage and modulating controls allow HVAC products to meet heating 
load requirements more precisely. When low heating load conditions 
exist, a two-stage or modulating HVAC product can operate at a reduced 
input rate for an extended period of burner on-time to meet the reduced 
heating load. For products with single-stage heating, the three 
proposed rating airflow-control settings are the maximum setting, the 
default heating setting, and the default constant-circulation setting. 
For products with multi-stage or modulating heating, the proposed 
rating airflow-control settings are the maximum setting, the default 
low-heating setting, and the default constant-circulation setting. For 
heating-only products (i.e., HVAC products not designed to be paired 
with an external cooling coil), the proposed rating airflow-control 
settings are the maximum airflow-control setting (expected to be the 
default heating airflow-control setting) and the default constant-
circulation setting. The lowest default airflow-control setting is used 
to represent constant-circulation if a constant circulation setting is 
not specified.
    DOE understands that furnace fans typically have three or more 
airflow-control settings which are designated for specific functions. 
DOE is also aware that some furnace fans have more than one airflow-
control setting designated for heating and/or cooling in multi-stage or 
modulating products. DOE requests comments on whether rating furnace 
fans using multiple but fewer than the total number of available 
airflow-control settings is appropriate, including multi-stage 
products. DOE expects that furnace fan factory settings typically 
designate the highest default airflow settings for cooling, median 
default airflow settings for heating, and the lowest default airflow 
settings for constant circulation. DOE also requests comments on the 
proposed assumptions for factory set airflow-control setting 
designations for specific functions. (See Issue 1 under ``Issues on 
Which DOE Seeks Comment'' in section V.E of this NOPR.)
    DOE proposes to weight the input power at the operating points of 
the proposed rating airflow-control settings using estimates of the 
annual operating hours that the furnace fan spends performing each of 
the functions typically designated for each airflow-control setting. 
The proposed average annual operating hours for furnace fans take into 
account differences in climate and constant-circulation operation. DOE 
recognizes that furnace fan annual operating hours vary significantly 
by region, but DOE believes the proposed values provide a reasonable 
estimate of average national annual operating hours by function. The 
following paragraphs include a detailed description of the approach and 
sources used to derive the proposed operating hour values, which are 
included in Table III.2.
    DOE proposes to specify one set of annual operating hours for 
products with single-stage heating and another for products with multi-
stage or modulating heating. This proposed rule specifies use of the 
default low-heating setting to rate multi-stage or modulating furnaces 
because DOE expects that these furnaces spend most of their heating 
operating time in the low-heating mode. In addition, as compared to 
single-stage furnaces, multi-stage and modulating furnaces also spend 
more total time operating in heating mode, due to the reduced heat 
output for the low-heating mode. Consequently, the proposed heating 
mode hours used to calculate annual energy use in the metric are 
calculated based on the reduced heat output, as described below. DOE 
does not propose to account for multi-stage cooling because the 
presence and capacity of low-stage cooling is dependent on the cooling 
system with which the furnace fan HVAC products are paired. DOE found 
in its review of publicly-available product literature that detailed 
characteristics of the cooling system are not provided in the product 
literature for furnace fan HVAC products. In addition, multi-stage 
heating is not necessarily associated with multi-stage cooling 
capability (e.g., multi-stage cooling equipment is much less common 
than multi-stage heating equipment).
    For products with single-stage heating, national average annual 
heating operating hours are calculated using the following formula:

[[Page 28681]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.000

Where:

HHss = estimated annual furnace heating hours for products with 
single-stage heating, in hours;
y = ratio of blower on-time to average burner on-time;
WFheat = heating weather adjustment factor; and
HEAnnual = average annual heating energy use, in MMBtu/year; and
Qin = average input heating capacity, in MMBtu/hour.

    The inputs to this equation are determined as follows. The ratio of 
blower on-time to average burner on-time is derived from manufacturer 
default blower delay settings for non-weatherized gas furnace models 
found in the 2007 Furnace Database \7\ from DOE's 2007 Furnace and 
Boiler Final Rule. 72 FR 65136 (Nov. 19, 2007). Using these data, the 
median values are 2 minutes for blower off-delay and 0.5 minutes for 
blower on-delay. The average burner on-time per cycle is 3.87 minutes 
for single-stage furnaces with fan delay based on DOE's furnace test 
procedure.\8\ Therefore, ratio of blower on-time to average burner on-
time, y, is estimated to be 1.39.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ The 2007 Furnace Database (Available at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/fb_fr_analysis.html.)
    \8\ 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, Appendix N.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The average annual heating energy use is derived using the average 
Energy Information Administration's (EIA) RECS 2005 \9\ heating energy 
use data for households with a gas or oil-fired furnace.\10\ The 
average heating energy use, HEAnnual, in 2005 from these 
data is 49.8 MMBtu/year. Because heating energy use varies every year 
due to climate variations and because 2005 was a warmer than average 
year, an average weather factor, WFheat, was applied to this 
value. To calculate the average weather factor, DOE used annual 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) heating degree 
day (HDD) per Census Division.\11\ To represent average conditions, DOE 
used the 30-year annual average HDD from 1981-2010 and compared it to 
2005 HDD (weighting both sets of data by the number of households with 
a gas and oil-fired furnace in RECS 2005 found in each Census 
Division). The resulting average weather factor is 1.04. This factor 
(1.04) is then multiplied times average 2005 heating energy use (49.8 
MMBtu/year) to yield 51.6 MMBtu/year average heating energy use. The 
average input capacity is calculated to be 86.3 kBtu/hour based on gas 
furnace 2001 gas furnace shipment data by input capacity bins \12\ and 
number of models in the 2010 AHRI directory \13\ for non-weatherized 
gas furnaces.\14\ Using these values, DOE calculates the average annual 
heating operating hours to be 830 hours per year.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Information 
Administration, Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), Public 
use data files (2005) (Last accessed Sept. 2011.) (Available at: 
http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/recs/recspubuse05/pubuse05.html).
    \10\ Electric furnaces are excluded because they are mostly 
associated with heat pumps, and average input capacity data for 
electric furnaces is scarce. Also, RECS does not provide information 
to distinguish which households have hydronic air-handlers. 
Potentially adding electric furnaces and hydronic equipment might 
slightly lower BOH, since this equipment tends to be located in 
warmer climates.
    \11\ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 
National Data Center Climate Data Online: HDD Data by Census 
Division (Last accessed Sept. 5, 2011) (Available at: http://www7.ncdc.noaa.gov/CDO/CDODivisionalSelect.jsp).
    \12\ GAMA, GAMA Shipment Data by Input Capacity Bins (2002) 
(Provided to DOE for the 2007 Furnace and Boiler Standards 
rulemaking) (EERE-2006-STD-0102-0056).
    \13\ Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute 
(AHRI), Consumer's Directory of Certified Efficiency Ratings for 
Heating and Water Heating Equipment (AHRI Directory February 2010) 
(Last accessed September 2011).
    \14\ It is assumed that the input capacity proxy value is very 
close to the average value for all gas and oil-fired furnaces 
(especially since non-weatherized gas furnaces represent more than 
80 percent of all gas and oil furnaces).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE proposes to account for the differences in operation between 
single-stage and multi-stage or modulating units in its estimated 
annual heating operating hours. When heating a residential building, a 
certain amount of heat is required to reach a desired indoor 
temperature in that given building. The heat output of the HVAC product 
installed in that building is the rate at which the product provides 
that heat. The lower the heating output capacity of the installed HVAC 
product in that building, the longer that HVAC product must operate to 
provide the necessary heat to reach a desired temperature rise. For 
products with multi-stage or modulating heating, DOE is aware that 
heating operation hours are distributed between two or more heating 
operating modes that have different output capacities, referred to as 
``stages.'' DOE finds that product literature refers to multi-stage/
modulating heating as a comfort feature characterized by long run-times 
in the low-heat setting, which can account for 90 percent or more of 
heating operation time. As a result, DOE recognizes that total heating 
operating hours for multi-stage and modulating furnace fans will likely 
be higher than for single-stage furnace fans in a given installation, 
because the HVAC product will be operating at its lower output capacity 
for a majority of these hours. Therefore, for the purposes of this test 
procedure, DOE proposes to rate multi-stage and modulating furnace fans 
using input power in the default low-heating stage only. The increase 
in heating operating hours, and ultimately the energy consumed for 
heating, in multi-stage and modulating furnace fans is determined by 
the ratio of high-output heating capacity to low-output heating 
capacity. DOE proposes to use the following equation to determine 
average annual heating operating hours for multi-stage and modulating 
furnace fans:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.001

Where:

HHm = estimated annual furnace fan heating hours for 
products with multi-stage or modulating heating, in hours; and
830 = estimated annual heating hours for products with single-stage 
heating;
HCR = heating capacity ratio (output capacity in lowest heat mode 
divided by output capacity in highest heat mode).

    Because fans can also be used to circulate cool air through duct 
work, DOE is also proposing calculations intended to capture energy use 
for that purpose. DOE estimates national average cooling operating 
hours using the following formula:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.002


[[Page 28682]]


Where:

CH = estimated annual furnace fan cooling operating hours;
yC = ratio of blower on-time to average compressor on-
time;
WFcool = cooling weather adjustment factor; and
CEAnnual = average annual cooling energy use, in kWh/year;
SEER = seasonal energy efficiency ratio; and
    Qin = average cooling capacity, in Btu/hour.

    Most furnace fans come with a cooling blower-on and blower-off 
delay feature. To account for this feature, DOE estimated the ratio of 
blower on-time to average compressor on-time based on manufacturer 
default blower delay settings listed in publically-available product 
literature for non-weatherized gas furnace models. DOE found that the 
median values are 45 seconds for blower off-delay and 2 seconds for 
blower on-delay. The average compressor on-time per cycle is 6 minutes 
for single-stage central air conditioners based on DOE's central air 
conditioner test procedure (10 CFR part 430, subpart B, Appendix M). 
Therefore, DOE estimates the ratio of blower on-time to average 
compressor on-time, yC, to be 1.12.
    The average cooling energy use is derived using the average EIA's 
RECS 2005 \15\ cooling energy use data for households with both a 
central air conditioner and either a gas or oil-fired furnace.\16\ The 
average annual cooling energy use, CEAnnual, in 2005 from 
these data is 2025 kWh/year. Because cooling energy use varies every 
year due to climate and because 2005 was a warmer-than-average year, an 
average weather factor was applied to this value. To calculate the 
average weather factor, DOE used annual NOAA cooling degree day (CDD) 
per Census Division.\17\ To represent average conditions, DOE used the 
30-year annual average CDD from 1981-2010 and compared it to 2005 CDD 
(weighting both sets of data by the number of households with both a 
central air conditioner and either a gas or oil-fired furnace in RECS 
2005 found in each Census Division). The resulting average cooling 
weather factor, WFcool, is 0.89. This factor (0.89) is then 
multiplied times average 2005 cooling energy use (2025 kWh/year) to 
come up with 1794 kWh/year average cooling energy use adjusted for 
weather. The average seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) in the 
U.S. stock in 2005 is estimated to be 11.06 based on Annual Energy 
Outlook (AEO) 2008 data for central air-conditioner efficiency.\18\ The 
average cooling capacity in the U.S. stock in 2005 is estimated to be 
34,884 Btu/h based on 2007-2010 AHRI shipments data.\19\ Using these 
values, the average annual furnace fan cooling operating hours is 
estimated to be 637 hours. For the purposes of the test procedure, this 
number is rounded to 640 hours.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Information 
Administration, Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), Public 
use data files (2005) (Last accessed Sept. 2011). (Available at: 
http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/recs/recspubuse05/pubuse05.html).
    \16\ Similar to the heating operating hours calculation, 
electric furnaces and hydronic air-handlers are not included. The 
data include both heat pump and non-heat pump central air-
conditioners.
    \17\ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 
NNDC Climate Data Online: CDD Data by Census Division (Last accessed 
Sept. 5, 2011) (Available at: www7.ncdc.noaa.gov/CDO/CDODivisionalSelect.jsp).
    \18\ Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 
2008 with Projections to 2030, Report No. DOE/EIA-0383 (2008) 
(Available at: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/).
    \19\ Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute 
(AHRI), Monthly Shipment Statistics: 2007-2010 (Available at: http://www.ahrinet.org/monthly+shipments.aspx).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The average annual constant-circulation hours are based on data 
from surveys. The first survey was conducted by researchers in 
Wisconsin in 2003.\20\ The second survey was conducted by the Center 
for Energy and the Environment (CEE) in Minnesota, the results of which 
were provided by CEE in a written comment that is included in the 
docket for the furnace fan energy conservation standard (Docket Number 
EERE-2010-BT-STD-0011), which can be viewed as described in the Docket 
section at the beginning of this notice. (CEE, No. 22 at pp. 1-3) DOE 
combined both studies and derived average annual furnace fan constant-
circulation operating hours for each survey, as shown in Table III.1. 
DOE did not use these data directly, however, because it believes they 
are not representative of consumer practices for the U.S. as a whole. 
In Wisconsin and Minnesota, many homes have low air infiltration, and 
there is a high awareness of indoor air quality issues, which leads to 
significant use of continuous ventilation. To develop U.S. average 
values, DOE modified the data from the surveys using information from 
manufacturer product literature and consideration of climate conditions 
in other regions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ Piggs, S. 2003. Central Electricity Use by New Furnaces: A 
Wisconsin Field Study. (URL: http://www.doa.state.wi.us/docview.asp?docid=1812).

       Table III.1--Results From Constant-Circulation Use Studies and Estimated Constant-Circulation Hours
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Combined data from        National                    National
                                                       studies             weighted       Assumed      weighted
      How often is continuous fan used?      --------------------------     average       average      average
                                               Number of    Percentage  percentage  of   number of    number of
                                               households      (%)       consumers (%)     hours        hours
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No continuous fan...........................           69           68              89            0            0
Year-round..................................           14           14               5         7290          365
During heating season.......................            4            4               1         1097           16
During cooling season.......................            4            4               1          541            8
Other (some continuous fan).................           10           10               4          365           13
                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...................................          101          100             100  ...........          401
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE assumed a value for average number of constant-circulation 
hours for each survey response. For ``no constant circulation'' 
responses, DOE assumed zero annual furnace fan constant-circulation 
hours. For ``year-round'' responses, DOE assumed 7,290 average annual 
furnace fan constant-circulation hours, which DOE calculated by 
subtracting furnace fan heating and cooling operating hours for single-
stage furnace fans (830 and 640, as estimated above) from the total 
annual hours (8,760). For ``during heating season'' responses, DOE 
assumed 1,097 hours, which is half of the quantity of heating season 
operating hours less furnace fan heating operating hours. More 
specifically, DOE calculated this value by subtracting furnace fan 
heating operating hours (830, as estimated

[[Page 28683]]

above) from the total heating season operating hours (5,216) \21\ and 
multiplying by 25 percent to account for the consumers that use fan 
constant-circulation only during part of the heating season. For 
``during cooling season'' responses, DOE assumed 541 hours. DOE 
calculated this value by subtracting furnace fan cooling operating 
hours (640, as estimated above) from the total cooling season hours 
(2,805) \22\ and multiplying by 25 percent to account for the consumers 
that use fan constant-circulation only during part of the cooling 
season. For other or ``some constant circulation'' responses, DOE 
assumed 365 hours, which is 5 percent of year-round operation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ Based on June 2, 2010 Test Procedure NOPR for Residential 
Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps. 75 FR 31224, 31270.
    \22\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table III.1 also shows the estimated weighted average national 
fraction of consumers and derived annual constant-circulation hours. To 
derive the annual constant-circulation hours, DOE assumed that on 
average, the combined data from the Wisconsin/Minnesota studies 
overestimate the fraction of consumers that use constant-circulation by 
50 percent in the North and South Hot Dry region and by 90 percent in 
the South Hot Humid region.\23\ Using EIA's RECS 2005 data, DOE 
estimated that 65 percent of furnace fans are located in the North and 
South Hot Dry region, while the remaining 35 percent are located in the 
South Hot Humid region.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ The regions are described in June 27, 2011 Direct Final 
Rule for Residential Furnaces, Central Air Conditioners and Heat 
Pumps. 76 FR 37408.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As shown in Table III.1, the weighted average annual constant-
circulation hours is 401 hours, rounded to 400 hours for the purposes 
of this test procedure.
    For hydronic air handlers, DOE proposes to use a variation of FER 
that integrates standby mode and off mode electrical energy consumption 
with active mode electrical energy consumption. This variation of FER 
will be referred to as the integrated fan efficiency rating (IFER). The 
proposed standby mode hours are the remainder of annual hours not 
designated for cooling, heating, constant circulation, or off mode. 
Therefore:

SBH = 8760 - HH - CCH - CH - OH

Where:

SBH = annual furnace fan standby mode operating hours;
8760 = number of hours in a year;
HH = annual furnace fan heating operating hours;
CCH = annual furnace fan constant-circulation hours;
CH = annual furnace fan cooling operating hours; and
OH = annual furnace fan off mode operating hours.

    DOE proposes a value of zero for hydronic air handler off mode 
operating hours because DOE expects that hydronic air handlers are not 
typically equipped with a seasonal off switch or that consumers will 
not turn off power to the hydronic air handler. Consideration of 
standby mode and off mode is discussed in more detail in section III.G. 
Table III.2 shows the proposed furnace fan annual operating hours by 
mode, as estimated according to the methods detailed above.

                        Table III.2--Proposed Furnace Fan Annual Operating Hours by Mode
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Operating mode                     Variable           Single-stage (hours)     Multi-stage (hours)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heating mode.........................  HH.....................  830....................  830/HCR.
Circulation mode.....................  CCH....................  400....................  400.
Cooling mode.........................  CH.....................  640....................  640.
Off mode (if applicable).............  OH.....................  0......................  0.
Standby mode (if applicable).........  SBH....................  8760-HH-CCH-CH-OH......  8760-HH-CCH-CH-OH.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE is aware that climate conditions vary across the United States. 
DOE seeks comment on the appropriate values and methods for estimating 
these values for weighting fan efficiency in each rated airflow-control 
setting. DOE also seeks comment on how these operating hours may vary 
for multi-stage products. (See Issue 2 under ``Issues on Which DOE 
Seeks Comment'' in section V.E of this NOPR.)
    DOE believes the AECR metric specified by CSA C823 is less 
appropriate than FER, because AECR is more burdensome without providing 
any additional useful information. AECR is more burdensome because it 
requires as many as 26 more determinations for the proposed range of 
ESP (0.1 in.w.c. to 0.75 in.w.c.). The number of determinations 
proposed to be specified for FER is discussed in detail in section 
III.F.2. In contrast to the proposed metric, DOE believes the approach 
suggested by ACEEE is also less appropriate, because DOE cannot set 
standards based on multiple metrics, as explained above. Furthermore, 
DOE believes the metric variations based on the current DOE furnace 
test procedure (i.e., BE, e, and eb) are less appropriate 
than FER, because they are based on measurements at one operating point 
for units with single-stage heating or measurements at two operating 
points for units with multi-stage or modulating heating. These metrics 
do not account for operation in cooling or constant-circulation modes. 
As stated previously, DOE anticipates that a rating metric based on a 
single operating point would not provide a good indication of the 
variation of typical annual energy use exhibited by the range of 
available furnace fan products. The issue of the appropriate number of 
airflow-control settings for rating furnace fans is discussed further 
in section III.F.1. In addition, DOE believes the BE, ``e,'' and 
``eb'' metrics are inappropriate because they are measured 
at ESPs that are not representative of field conditions. DOE believes 
Air HP, as it is described by Regal Beloit, is an important concept 
when considering the efficiency of fans and blowers. However, Air HP 
does not include a measurement of electrical consumption, which is a 
necessary part of a test procedure supporting an energy conservation 
standard. DOE believes AMER would be less appropriate than FER, because 
it is based on furnace output capacity instead of air delivery. DOE 
expects that AMER would reward furnaces that have higher output 
capacities, regardless of whether any improvement in fan efficiency 
would result. For these reasons, DOE is proposing FER as the most 
appropriate metric for rating furnace fan performance.

E. Reference System

    In the June 2010 framework document, DOE sought comment on the 
appropriate reference system for the purposes of rating furnace fan 
performance. 75 FR 31323 (June 3,

[[Page 28684]]

2010). DOE proposes to specify a reference system, which provides a 
standardized set of airflow characteristics to model duct work. The 
energy use of a furnace fan depends heavily on the duct work system 
through which it circulates air, but duct work characteristics vary 
between installations and are outside the control of manufacturers of 
residential HVAC products. Use of a reference system for rating furnace 
fans allows for consistent comparison across HVAC products. 
Furthermore, the reference system provides a basis for estimating the 
airflow, ESP, and electrical consumption of the fan in the rating 
airflow-control settings and, therefore, for different furnace fan 
functions (i.e., cooling, heating, constant-circulation).
    To circulate air through duct work, a furnace fan motor rotates an 
impeller, which increases the velocity of an airstream. As a result, 
the airstream gains kinetic energy. This kinetic energy is converted to 
a static pressure increase when the air slows downstream of the 
impeller blades. This static pressure created by the fan must be enough 
to overcome the pressure losses the airstream will experience 
throughout the duct work, and to a smaller degree, within the HVAC 
product itself, to provide sufficient delivery of conditioned air to 
the residence. Pressure losses are the result of directional changes in 
the duct work, friction between the moving air and surfaces of the duct 
work, and possible appurtenances in the airflow path. (In layman's 
terms, the conditioned air slows and eventually would stop the further 
it travels from the fan. However, in effective systems, continued 
action of the furnace fan overcomes such resistance and provides 
conditioned air to the intended space.) Therefore, the geometry of any 
HVAC component that obstructs the airflow path, the length of the duct 
work path, and number and nature of direction changes in the ductwork 
of a given system contribute to the pressure losses of the system. In 
most duct systems, the static pressure required to move the air is 
approximately equal to the square of the airflow rate. The duct static 
pressure is the ESP, which can be represented as follows:

ESP = Kref x Q\2\

Where:

ESP = external static pressure in inches water column (in.w.c.);
Kref = a constant that characterizes the reference 
system; and
Q = airflow in cfm.

    A reference system is defined by specifying an airflow-control 
setting and a standardized ESP to determine values for Q and ESP. Once 
these values are known, K, which characterizes the reference system, 
can be calculated. The quadratic relationship described above is 
assumed for the duct work system to relate ESP to airflow in different 
airflow-control settings.
    In the June 2010 framework document, DOE requested comment on a 
definition of the reference system based on a standardized ESP of 0.5 
in.w.c. for the default heating airflow-control setting. For the 
framework document, DOE identified this reference system definition so 
as to be consistent with the reference system specified in the December 
2009 draft of CSA C823.
    Rheem recommended testing at an external static pressure of 0.2 in. 
w. c. in the default heating speed, and Morrison made the same point. 
(Rheem, No. 7 at p. 76; Morrison, No. 7 at p. 77) Mortex stated that 
0.3 in. w.c. in cooling mode is used to test coil-only units and that 
similar criteria would be appropriate for furnace fans. (Mortex, No. 7 
at p. 86) Ingersoll Rand stated that the default heating mode speed 
does not match up with any other conditions under which furnaces are 
already tested. Ingersoll Rand added that default heating speeds are 
typically lower than cooling speeds, which would result in better 
ratings when compared to air conditioners. (Ingersoll Rand, No. 7 at p. 
79) Rheem commented that it expects ducting is designed for the highest 
airflow, which is typically the cooling mode, so specifying a heating 
speed for the reference system can be problematic, because it could 
result in extrapolating operating points for higher airflow-control 
settings that are beyond the manufacturer-recommended operating points. 
(Rheem, No. 7 at pp. 74-75)
    Many interested parties stated that the ESP at which furnace fans 
are rated should reflect the ESP that furnace fans will face in the 
field. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), ACEEE, Center for 
Energy and Environment (CEE), NEEP, and Adjuvant Consulting all stated 
that an ESP of at least 0.5 in.w.c. should be used because it would 
best reflect actual field conditions. (ACEEE, No. 19 at p. 2; NRDC, No. 
28 at p. 4; NEEP, No. 16 at pp. 3-4; Adjuvant Consulting, No. 7 at p. 
80; CEE, No. 22 at p. 1) Pacific Gas and Electric Company asserted that 
the ESPs at which furnace fans are tested should be higher than those 
at which furnaces are currently rated in order to mirror the ESPs of 
systems in the field. (Pacific Gas and Electric Company, No. 7 at p. 
81) CEE measured the ESP in 81 homes and found that the average was 
0.55 in.w.c. in heating mode. (CEE, No. 22 at p. 1)
    Not all interested parties agreed with setting the reference ESP at 
0.5 in.w.c. AHRI and Morrison stated that DOE should utilize the 
methods outlined in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 103, Method of Testing for 
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency of Residential Central Furnaces and 
Boilers (i.e., the reference standard for DOE's residential furnaces 
test procedure), for determining ESP rating points as a function of 
capacity, and the commenters further stated that 0.5 in.w.c. in the 
default heating airflow setting is too high to conduct testing. (AHRI, 
No. 20 at p. 5; Morrison, No. 26 at p. 4) Rheem recommended that the 
ESP used for rating furnace fans reflect the ESP that is recommended by 
manufacturers for appropriate operation of their products. Rheem added 
that specifying the rating criteria to mimic field conditions is not 
appropriate, because poor installation practices and misinformed 
consumer demands are pushing products outside the range of recommended 
operation. Rheem further stated that setting a standard based on these 
practices would perpetuate and escalate the misuse of the products, 
thereby increasing energy consumption. (Rheem, No. 7 at p. 91) 
Morrison, NEEA, Rheem, and AHRI remarked that the ESP in the furnace 
fan test procedure should reflect the methods in the existing DOE test 
procedures for residential furnaces and central air conditioners to 
reduce manufacturer testing burden and to maintain consistency. (NEEA, 
No. 11 at p. 3; Morrison, No. 26 at p. 3; Rheem, No. 29 at pp. 4-5; 
Rheem, No. 7 at p. 54; AHRI, No. 20 at pp. 3-4)
    DOE proposes to use an ESP value that is consistent, to the extent 
possible, with known field conditions. DOE expects this approach would 
result in ratings that are most representative of field energy use. DOE 
also expects that the use of manufacturer-recommended ESPs might 
overestimate furnace fan efficiency, because the ESP of field-installed 
HVAC systems typically exceeds the ESP recommended by manufacturers. 
Like manufacturers, DOE is also concerned about the energy use impact 
of installations with high static pressures. However, DOE does not 
expect that a reduction in average field ESPs that approaches the 
manufacturer-recommended levels is likely to occur, because installing 
new, larger, and more-efficient ducts in existing homes is generally 
cost-prohibitive. DOE is concerned that a metric based on a low, albeit 
desirable, static pressure level would not best represent furnace fan 
efficiency. Also, DOE is concerned that

[[Page 28685]]

a metric based on a low static pressure may lead to excessive energy 
use by furnace fan designs which do not achieve high efficiency levels 
when operating at the higher, real-world static pressures. Adapting the 
efficiency metric to the real-world conditions better facilitates 
meaningful comparisons of furnace fans operating under these 
conditions.
    In addition, DOE does not agree with contentions from Morrison, 
NEEA, Rheem, and AHRI that defining the reference system using an ESP 
value other than those already specified in associated DOE test 
procedures would be overly burdensome. Based on DOE's review of 
publicly-available product literature, airflow performance data is 
already measured and listed by manufacturers at ESPs that exceed those 
specified in the DOE test procedures for residential furnaces and 
central air conditioners. The ESPs specified in the residential central 
air conditioner test procedure at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, Appendix 
M range from 0.1 to 0.2 in.w.c. for conventional split systems. The 
ESPs specified in the furnace test procedure at 10 CFR part 430, 
subpart B, Appendix N range from 0.12 to 0.58 in.w.c., depending on the 
fuel source and rated input capacity of the furnace. In contrast, most 
of the publicly-available product specification sheets that DOE 
reviewed include airflow performance data up to 1 in.w.c.
    DOE gathered field data from available studies and research reports 
to determine an appropriate ESP value to propose for the reference 
system. DOE compiled over 1300 field ESP measurements from several 
studies that included furnace fans in single-family and manufactured 
homes in different regions of the country. DOE has included a list of 
citations for these studies in the docket for this rulemaking. A link 
to the docket Web page can be found at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/furnace_fans.html. This Web 
page contains a link to the docket for this notice on the 
www.regulations.gov site. The www.regulations.gov Web page contains 
simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public 
comments, in the docket. The docket number for this rulemaking is EERE-
2010-BT-TP-0010.
    Data across studies were not consistent because some included 
external evaporator coil and/or filter pressure drops in their ESP 
measurements, whereas others did not. So that DOE could compare the 
data, DOE calculated adjusted ESP values for each study to derive one 
value that included the measured/estimated evaporator coil pressure 
drop and one that did not for each residence. All values included a 
measured or estimated filter pressure drop. Three of the aforementioned 
studies included filter and coil pressure drop data that DOE used to 
estimate average filter and coil pressure drops for these 
adjustments.\24\ DOE found that on average, the pressure drop measured 
for the evaporator coil was 0.20 in.w.c., and the pressure drop for the 
filter was 0.21 in.w.c.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ Piggs, S. 2008. Central Air Conditioning in Wisconsin: A 
Compilation of Recent Field Research. Energy Center of Wisconsin. 
(Two studies reported 2005 and 2007) (URL: http://www.ecw.org/resource_detail.php?resultid=289); and Wilcox, B.J. Proctor, R. 
Chitwood, and K. Nittler. 2006. Furnace Fan Watt Draw and Air Flow 
in Cooling and Air Distribution Modes. 2008 California Building 
Energy Efficiency Standards. (URL: http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2008standards/prerulemaking/documents/2006-07-12_workshop/reviewdocs/FAN_WATT_DRAW_AND_AIR_FLOW.pdf.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table III.3 includes the weighted average ``with-coil'' and 
``without-coil'' ESP results for single-family homes and manufactured 
homes.

             Table III.3--Summary of Adjusted Field ESP Data
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     With coil ESP     Without coil ESP
         Household type                (in.w.c.)           (in.w.c.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Single-family Home..............                0.73                0.52
Manufactured Home...............                0.37                0.17
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE identified four installation types with unique reference system 
ESP considerations:
     Heating-only units;
     Units with an internal evaporator coil;
     Units designed to be paired with an evaporator coil; and
     Manufactured home units.
    DOE proposes to treat these types of units as follows. DOE is aware 
that some hydronic air handlers are not designed to provide cooling. 
DOE has identified these as heating-only products. DOE proposes to 
specify a lower reference system ESP for these products, because they 
do not experience the additional pressure drop of circulating air past 
an evaporator coil.
    DOE has identified weatherized gas furnaces as units with an 
internal evaporator coil. DOE proposes to specify a reference system 
ESP for these products that does not include the pressure drop of 
circulating air past an evaporator coil because FER already accounts 
for internal losses.
    DOE is aware that non-weatherized gas furnaces, oil-fired furnaces, 
electric furnaces, modular blowers, and some hydronic air handlers are 
designed to accommodate an evaporator coil for cooling. DOE has 
identified these products as products not originally supplied with an 
evaporator coil but designed to be paired with an evaporator coil in 
the field. DOE proposes a higher reference system ESP for these 
products to ensure their FER accounts for the pressure drop of 
circulating air past an evaporator coil.
    DOE proposes to use a different reference system ESP for 
manufactured home products to account for the space constraints and 
installation requirements that are unique to the manufactured home 
market.
    DOE recognizes that units designed to be paired with an evaporator 
coil and manufactured home products are not always paired with 
evaporator coils, even though they are designed for this option. Using 
EIA's RECS 2005 data, DOE estimated the fraction of furnace 
installations paired with an evaporator coil in the field. DOE 
determined that 72.9 percent of single-family households with a non-
weatherized gas or oil-fired furnace had central air-conditioners 
(i.e., are paired with an evaporator coil).\25\ DOE determined that 
50.2 percent of manufactured home households with a non-weatherized gas 
or oil-fired furnace had central air-conditioners. For manufactured 
homes and units designed to be paired with an evaporator coil in 
single-family homes,

[[Page 28686]]

DOE used these percentages to weight the with-coil and without-coil ESP 
values (see Table III.3) to derive the proposed reference system ESP 
value. DOE proposes to specify the reference system values, as 
reflected in Table III.4 for each installation type. The proposed 
values are rounded to the nearest 0.05 in.w.c. DOE seeks comment on its 
proposed reference system ESP values. DOE also welcomes additional 
field data. In addition, DOE seeks comment on whether the specified 
reference system ESP should be dependent on capacity. (See Issue 3 
under ``Issues on Which DOE Seeks Comment'' in section V.E of this 
NOPR.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ For simplicity, electric furnaces are excluded since they 
are mostly associated with heat pumps. Also, RECS does not provide 
information to distinguish which households have hydronic air-
handlers. Adding electric furnaces and hydronic equipment will 
increase the fraction of households with central air-conditioners, 
since this equipment tends to be located in warmer climates.

  Table III.4--Proposed Reference System ESP Values for All Furnace Fan
                           Installation Types
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Weighted average ESP
               Installation type                        (in. w.c.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heating-only units.............................                     0.50
Units with an internal evaporator coil.........                     0.50
Units designed to be paired with an evaporator                      0.65
 coil..........................................
Manufactured home \26\.........................                    0.30.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE proposes to use the maximum airflow-control setting to define 
the reference system for each installation type. DOE is aware that 
furnace fan control schemes typically include airflow-control settings, 
each often designated for specific functions (e.g., cooling, heating, 
and constant circulation). DOE found that the maximum airflow-control 
setting is often factory set for cooling operation or for high or 
default heating for heating-only units that do not have a cooling 
setting. DOE has tentatively concluded that specifying the maximum 
airflow-control setting for the reference system would preclude the 
need to extrapolate performance data outside the desired range of 
operation, which might be necessary if DOE selected an airflow-control 
setting other than the maximum. Extrapolating performance outside the 
recommended and tested range is less desirable than interpolation 
because extrapolation will not account for dramatic changes in furnace 
fan performance that may occur beyond a certain ESP threshold. In 
addition, comments from interested parties indicate that, unlike in 
Canada, U.S. HVAC systems and components (including furnace fans) are 
often designed for cooling operation (i.e., maximum required airflow).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ Manufactured home external static pressure is much smaller 
due to the fact there is no return air duct work in manufactured 
homes. Also, the United States Department of Housing and Urban 
Development (HUD) requirements stipulate that the duct work for 
cooling should be set at 0.3 in. w.c.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE found that field ESP values vary compared to manufacturer-
recommended ESP values and considered the use of multiple reference 
systems. This notice refers to the December 2009 draft version of CSA 
C823, because that was the version that was referenced in the June 2010 
furnace fan framework document. For the reasons discussed in section 
III.C, DOE is not proposing to use CSA C823 as a reference standard for 
this notice. However, DOE is aware that for the final version of CSA 
C823, CSA considered specifying multiple reference systems to account 
for differences in ESP and ultimately, fan performance at manufacturer-
recommended operating conditions and typical, poor field operating 
conditions. Rheem supported the use of two reference system curves if 
the rating must include the effects of incorrect and potentially unsafe 
installation practices that occur in the field in spite of the 
manufacturers' installation instructions. Rheem suggested that these 
two curves should be based on a static pressure of 0.3 in.w.c. and 0.6 
in.w.c. in the default heating airflow-control setting. (Rheem, No. 29 
at p. 6)
    DOE proposes to use only one reference system curve for each 
installation type, as described above because for the reasons discussed 
previously, DOE cannot set standards based on multiple metrics. In 
addition, DOE investigated the use of a combined metric based on 
multiple reference system curves. For a subset of fans, DOE averaged an 
FER based on a high reference system ESP value and an FER based on a 
low reference system ESP value by increasing and decreasing the 
proposed ESP values by 0.15 in.w.c. For example, the resulting high and 
low reference system ESP values for this investigation for furnace fan 
products that are designed to be paired with evaporator coils (i.e., 
non-weatherized gas furnaces, oil-fired furnaces, electric furnaces, 
some hydronic air-handlers, and modular blowers) were 0.8 in.w.c. and 
0.5 in.w.c., respectively. These values are higher than those suggested 
by Rheem because they are specified for the maximum airflow-control 
setting, which is expected to be higher than the default heating 
airflow-control setting. Using the reference system equation described 
above and assuming that default heating airflow is in the range of 80 
percent to 90 percent of the maximum airflow, the high and low 
reference system ESP values for the default heating airflow-control 
setting used for this comparison are roughly equivalent to those 
suggested by Rheem. DOE found that the combined, multiple reference 
system FER values varied on average by less than 2 percent with a 
standard deviation of 2 percent compared to the proposed, single 
reference system FER and did not alter the ranking of furnace fans by 
efficiency. Therefore, DOE believes the use of multiple reference 
system curves is unnecessary. DOE requests comment on whether a 
multiple reference system rating approach would provide a better 
indication of the overall performance. (See Issue 4 under ``Issues on 
Which DOE Seeks Comment'' in section V.E of this NOPR.)

F. Performance Curves

1. Number of Airflow-Control Settings
    In the June 2010 framework document, DOE requested feedback on the 
appropriate number of measurements (i.e., determinations) needed to 
characterize the performance of a furnace fan, which is dependent in 
part on the number of airflow-control settings used to rate the furnace 
fan.\27\ Installed furnace fans can have as many as five or more 
airflow-control settings. In a given HVAC system, energy consumption of 
the furnace fan increases as airflow increases. Therefore, airflow-
control settings have varying energy use profiles. As mentioned, DOE 
finds that airflow-control settings are each often designated for a 
specific function, such as cooling, heating, or constant circulation. 
In addition, the relative

[[Page 28687]]

efficiency of certain furnace fan technologies varies with airflow-
control setting. The extent to which energy consumption across a 
furnace fan's operating range is accounted is determined by the number 
of airflow-control settings used to rate the furnace fan.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ See Issue 10 on page 11 of the June 2010 framework 
document. DOE posted the framework document to the DOE Web site, 
which can be accessed at this link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/furnace_fans_framework.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comments from interested parties indicate that some are in favor of 
a metric that accounts for fan electrical consumption while operating 
in a single airflow-control setting, while others are in favor of a 
metric that accounts for operation in multiple airflow-control 
settings. AHRI and certain manufacturers, including Rheem, Nordyne, and 
Lennox, suggested that DOE should use ``e,'' which is based on the 
measured electrical energy consumption of the fan at a single operating 
point. (AHRI, No. 21 at p. 4; Rheem, No. 29 at p. 3; Nordyne, No. 31 at 
p. 2; and Lennox, No. 23 at p. 2) Ingersoll Rand added that it 
questions whether more than one test point per airflow-control setting 
and whether more airflow-control settings than there are heat stages 
(with possible consideration of an additional point for cooling) is 
necessary to rate furnace fans, given that they perform quite 
predictably in accordance with well-established ``fan laws.'' 
(Ingersoll Rand, No. 25 at p. 1) Johnson Controls stated that 
electrically-commutated motors (ECM) have an efficiency advantage over 
permanent split capacitor (PSC) motors at low or partial-load 
conditions but not necessarily at higher/maximum-load conditions. 
(Johnson Controls, No. 7 at p. 145) In contrast, ACEEE remarked that 
DOE should not use a single annual energy consumption metric, but 
instead, the minimum efficiency standard should be based on the power 
for circulation, heating, and cooling modes weighted by average annual 
operating hours in each mode. (ACEEE, No. 30 at p. 3) NEEP recommended 
that DOE use a rating system based on two or three fan speeds to 
capture the efficiency of fans that use ECM motors. (NEEP, No. 16 at p. 
3)
    After considering available information and public comments on this 
issue, DOE has tentatively concluded that a metric based on 
measurements in multiple airflow-control settings would be appropriate 
to account for furnace fan energy consumption across its entire 
operating range. DOE recognizes that furnace fans are used not just for 
circulating air through duct work during heating operation, but also 
for circulating air during cooling and constant-circulation operation. 
As mentioned previously, DOE understands that higher airflow-control 
settings are factory set for cooling operation. Therefore, DOE expects 
that the electrical energy consumption of a furnace fan is generally 
higher while performing the cooling function. Consequently, DOE expects 
that using a metric based on a single measurement in an airflow-control 
setting designated for heating could result in an incomplete assessment 
of overall performance. DOE further recognizes that the potential for 
significant power reduction occurs when the fan is operating in its 
lowest airflow-control setting, which DOE finds is typically factory 
set for constant-circulation. This significant power reduction is 
consistent with the theory that fan input power is proportional to the 
cube of the airflow. Consequently, a ``snapshot approach'' which 
specifies only a single airflow-control setting may not be 
representative of the product's average use. However, some fan 
technologies may not reduce power input in this fashion. DOE is 
concerned that rating furnace fan performance at a single airflow-
control setting would incentivize manufacturers to design fans 
optimized to perform efficiently at the selected rating airflow-control 
setting but that are not efficient over the broad range of field 
operating conditions. DOE expects that a rating metric that includes 
measurements at multiple airflow-control settings would help ensure 
that the rating metric captures the efficiency advantages of using 
motor technologies that maintain higher efficiencies over a broad range 
of operating conditions. DOE is aware that other technologies, such as 
improved impeller designs, may also improve efficiency in some, but not 
all, of the expected range of operation.
    For the reasons above, DOE proposes that FER be based on 
measurements taken in multiple airflow-control settings, which have 
been selected to represent the main product functions that have varied 
energy usage profiles. For products with single-stage heating, the 
three proposed rating airflow-control settings would be the maximum 
setting, the default heating setting, and the default constant-
circulation setting. For products with multi-stage heating or 
modulating heating, the proposed rating airflow-control settings would 
be the maximum setting, the default low-heating setting, and the 
default constant-circulation setting. For heating-only products, the 
proposed rating airflow-control settings would be the default heating 
setting and the default constant-circulation setting. The lowest 
default airflow-control setting would be used to represent constant 
circulation, for units in which a constant-circulation setting is not 
specified. The default low-heat setting would be the airflow-control 
setting used to circulate air when the HVAC product is operating at its 
lowest nominal heating input capacity. DOE believes that using the FER 
metric would ensure that the operating characteristics of all of the 
relevant airflow-control settings are accounted for in the efficiency 
metric, and it would, thus, rate at higher efficiency a furnace fan 
that does reduce power more consistently with the theoretical cubic 
relationship. In selecting the multiple airflow-control settings 
discussed above, it is noted that DOE is aware that some furnace fans 
are designed to have more than three airflow-control settings. DOE 
compared ratings that use measurements in two, three, and five airflow-
control settings and found that a metric that uses measurements in 
three (or two for heating-only products) of the available airflow-
control settings appropriately captures the efficiency advantages of 
using more-efficient technologies while minimizing burden on 
manufacturers.
2. Number of Determinations
    In the June 2010 framework document, DOE sought comment on the 
appropriate total number of determinations that DOE should specify that 
manufacturers make in each airflow-control setting to develop 
performance curves without being overly burdensome.\28\ As defined in 
ANSI/AMCA 210-07 and incorporated by reference in this notice, a 
determination is a complete set of measurements for a particular point 
of operation of a fan. For the purposes of this test procedure, a 
complete set of measurements includes measurements of airflow, 
electrical consumption, and external static pressure. The total number 
of determinations per performance curve depends on the ESP range and 
measurement increments specified in the test procedure.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ See Issue 10 on page 11 of the June 2010 framework 
document. DOE posted the framework document to the DOE Web site, 
which can be accessed at this link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/furnace_fans_framework.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As described above in section III.D, the proposed active mode 
metric incorporates furnace fan input power at multiple operating 
points, which are determined by the intersections of the performance 
curves (i.e., airflow-ESP relationship) of the rating airflow-control 
settings and a specified reference system curve. Determinations are not 
necessarily measured at the operating points, because reproducing

[[Page 28688]]

the exact ESP and airflow of the operating points during testing is 
extremely burdensome. Instead, a series of determinations are made for 
each rating airflow-control setting that bracket the operating point 
for that setting. Separate best-fit curves for the determination test 
results are developed in which airflow and input power are equal to 
second order polynomial of ESP.\29\ These curves estimate the 
relationship between airflow and electrical consumption to ESP within 
the range of ESP specified for each product in this notice. When 
evaluating FER, the performance curve for the airflow-control setting 
and the reference curve constant, Kref, are used to 
determine the operating point ESP. Subsequently, the power input curve 
for the airflow-control setting is used to calculate the input power 
for each operating point. The input power values are used in the FER 
calculations. The methodology for calculating FER is described in more 
detail in section III.H. The issues addressed in this section are: (a) 
The number of determinations required to develop the airflow and power 
input curves for each airflow-control setting, and (b) the range of 
ESPs over which these determinations must be made.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ In other words, Q = A x ESP\2\ + B x ESP + C and input 
power E = X x ESP\2\ + Y x ESP + Z. The coefficients A, B, and C 
which provide the best fit to the data for flow are determined, as 
are the coefficients X, Y, and Z with provide the best fit to the 
data for input power.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Rheem commented that the maximum ESP for PSC motors is typically 
0.7 in.w.c. and that the maximum ESP for ECM motors is documented up to 
1 in.w.c. (Rheem, No. 29 at p. 4) Ingersoll Rand expressed a similar 
view, stating that the maximum reported testing data are taken at about 
1 in.w.c. ESP for ECM motors and 0.8 in.w.c. for PSC motors. (Ingersoll 
Rand, No. 7 at p. 67)
    Many interested parties commented that fewer determinations are 
necessary than are specified in the December 2009 draft version of CSA 
C823. The December 2009 draft of CSA C823 required measurements at 
increments of at least 0.1 in.w.c. for the desired range of operation, 
so under that approach, a furnace fan with 5 airflow-control settings 
and a range of operation from 0 to 1 in.w.c. would require 50 
determinations. ACEEE recommended that manufacturers be required to 
certify the smallest set of data required to build performance maps for 
intended applications. ACEEE added that few measurements would need to 
be certified. (ACEEE, No. 19 at p. 4) Rheem stated that, theoretically, 
only three points are required to develop a performance curve. Rheem 
also stated that it is important to get the high and low points correct 
to avoid extrapolation. (Rheem, No. 7 at p. 67) Ingersoll Rand, NRDC, 
Johnson Controls, and AHRI recommended that determinations be made in 
0.2 in.w.c. increments. (Ingersoll Rand, No. 7 at pp. 65-66; NRDC, No. 
28 at p. 4; Johnson, No. 7 at pp. 67-69; and AHRI, No. 20 at p. 5) 
Regal Beloit recommended that DOE rate furnace fans at ESPs from 0.5 
in.w.c. to 1.4 in.w.c. at 0.1 in.w.c. increments. Regal Beloit added 
that there must be multiple static points to help define the operating 
range of the blower with 0.5 in.w.c. maximum difference between points. 
(Regal Beloit, No. 32 at p. 2)
    DOE agrees that the total number of determinations resulting from 
measuring at 0.1 in.w.c. increments would be unnecessary to derive 
reasonably accurate ratings for furnace fans. In seeking to determine 
the appropriate number of measurements, DOE explored three 
determination methods by generating FER values using airflow and 
electrical consumption measurement data from testing and publically-
available product literature at: (1) 0.1 in.w.c. increments; (2) 0.2 
in.w.c. increments; and (3) the minimum, mid-point, and maximum ESP. 
The test data and product-literature data were measured according to 
ANSI/AMCA 210-07, and the methodology used to derive the FER values is 
described in detail in section III.H. DOE analyzed measurements for 15 
furnace fans used in various product types, including non-weatherized 
condensing and non-condensing gas furnaces, weatherized gas furnaces, 
oil-fired furnaces, electric furnaces, hydronic air handlers, and 
modular blowers. DOE found that the FER changes by an average of less 
than 1 percent (with a standard deviation of 3 percent) when using the 
3-point determination method, as compared to the 0.1 in.w.c. increment 
method. Similar differences resulted for the 0.2 in.w.c. increment 
determination method, as compared to the 0.1 in.w.c. increment method. 
DOE expects that the FER differences between the 0.1 in.w.c. and 3-
point determination methods are small enough that using the 3-point 
determination method would still result in reasonably accurate ratings 
and rankings of furnace fan efficiency. Therefore, DOE proposes to 
specify that 3 determinations be made for each rating airflow-control 
setting. DOE proposes to specify determinations at: (1) 0.1 in.w.c.; 
(2) an ESP equal to the applicable reference system ESP divided by 2; 
and (3) an ESP between the applicable reference system ESP and 0.1 
in.w.c. above that reference system ESP.

G. Standby Mode and Off Mode Energy Consumption

    EPCA, as amended by EISA 2007, requires that any final rule for a 
new or amended energy conservation standard adopted after July 1, 2010, 
must address standby mode and off mode energy use pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 
6295(o). (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(3)) Thus, the statute implicitly directs 
DOE, when developing new test procedures to support new energy 
conservation standards, to account for standby mode and off mode energy 
consumption. EISA 2007 also requires that such energy consumption be 
integrated into the overall energy efficiency, energy consumption, or 
other energy descriptor, unless the current test procedure already 
accounts for standby mode and off mode energy use. If an integrated 
test procedure is technically infeasible, DOE must prescribe a separate 
standby mode and off mode test procedure for the covered product, if 
technically feasible. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(2)(A)) Accordingly, DOE must 
address the standby mode and off mode energy use of residential furnace 
fans in this test procedure. However, DOE has already incorporated 
standby mode and off mode energy use in the test procedures (or 
proposed test procedures) for several of the products to which this 
test procedure rulemaking is applicable.
    Table III.5 summarizes the test procedure rulemaking vehicles 
through which DOE is addressing standby mode and off mode energy 
consumption for the various types of products which circulate air 
through duct work.

[[Page 28689]]



 Table III.5--Rulemaking Activities Addressing Furnace Fan Standby Mode
                     and Off Mode Energy Consumption
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       DOE Rulemaking
         HVAC Products                Status              activity
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Gas Furnaces.........  Addressed in        Codified
 Oil-fired Furnaces...   separate           Furnaces Test
 Electric Furnaces....   rulemaking.        Procedure October
                                                    20, 2010 final rule
                                                    (75 FR 64621) (10
                                                    CFR part 430,
                                                    subpart B, appendix
                                                    N, section 8.0).
                                                    September
                                                    13, 2011 NOPR (76 FR
                                                    56339).
 
 Modular Blowers......  Addressed in        Codified CAC
 Weatherized Gas         separate           Test Procedure
 Furnace.                        rulemaking.        October 22, 2007
                                                    final rule (72 FR
                                                    59906). (10 CFR part
                                                    430, subpart B,
                                                    appendix M).
                                                    June 2, 2010
                                                    NOPR (75 FR 31224).
                                                    April 1,
                                                    2011 SNOPR (76 FR
                                                    18105).
                                                    October 24,
                                                    2011 SNOPR (76 FR
                                                    65616).
 Hydronic Air Handlers  Addressed in        N/A.
                                 current
                                 rulemaking.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Residential Furnaces and Central Air Conditioner Products
    Measurement of standby mode and off mode energy use for non-
weatherized gas furnaces, oil-fired furnaces, and electric furnaces is 
already prescribed in the furnace test procedure (10 CFR part 430, 
subpart B, appendix N, section 8.0). In a September 13, 2011 NOPR, DOE 
proposed amendments to the furnaces test procedure related to standby 
mode and off mode. 76 FR 56339. DOE proposed coverage of standby mode 
and off mode energy use for modular blowers and weatherized gas 
furnaces in a June 2, 2010 NOPR. 75 FR 31224. DOE subsequently 
published one SNOPR on April 1, 2011 and another on October 24, 2011 
regarding standby mode and off mode test procedures for these products. 
76 FR 18105; 76 FR 65616. Furnace fans are integrated in the electrical 
systems of the HVAC products in which they are used and controlled by 
the main control board. Therefore, there is no standby mode and off 
mode energy use associated with furnace fans used in the aforementioned 
products that would not already be measured by the established or 
proposed test procedures associated with these products. Hence, given 
that the standby mode and off mode energy consumption of these types of 
furnace fans either has been or is in the process of being fully 
addressed, there is no need for DOE to adopt additional test procedure 
provisions for these modes in this rulemaking.
2. Hydronic Air Handlers
    There are no current DOE test procedures for measurement of 
electrical energy use in hydronic air handlers nor is there an ongoing 
rulemaking for which such test procedures have been proposed. Hence, 
the standby mode and off mode energy use for furnace fans that are 
incorporated into these products must be considered in this rulemaking. 
DOE proposes to incorporate in this notice test methods to measure the 
standby mode and off mode energy of hydronic air handlers that are 
identical to those specified in the DOE test procedure for residential 
furnaces and boilers (10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix N, section 
8.0). On September 13, 2011, DOE published a NOPR to update the DOE 
test procedure for furnaces through incorporation by reference of the 
latest edition of the relevant industry standard, specifically IEC 
Standard 62301 (Second Edition). 75 FR 56339. DOE proposes to also 
adopt the updates proposed in the September 2011 furnaces test 
procedure NOPR for measurement of standby mode and off mode energy of 
furnace fans incorporated in hydronic air handlers. DOE believes these 
methods are appropriate, because both furnaces and hydronic air 
handlers are used primarily in central heating applications, and DOE 
expects that the electrical systems (i.e., electrical components and 
controls) of hydronic air handlers are similar to the electrical 
systems of furnaces. DOE proposes to integrate the steady-state standby 
mode and off mode electrical energy consumption measurements for 
hydronic air handlers, ESB and EOFF, into the 
active mode metric for these furnace fans, as required by EPCA. DOE 
proposes to weight the standby mode and off mode measurements by the 
representative hours proposed for these modes. The hours associated 
with these modes are discussed in section III.D. Similar to furnaces, 
DOE expects that hydronic air handlers are not typically equipped with 
a seasonal off switch or that consumers would not turn off power to the 
hydronic air handler. Therefore, DOE expects that EOFF and 
the estimated annual off mode operating hours, HO, would effectively be 
equal to zero. The integrated metric for hydronic air handlers is 
described in more detail in section III.H. DOE seeks comment on whether 
the methods for measuring standby mode and off mode energy consumption 
specified in the DOE test procedure for residential furnaces and 
boilers are appropriate for hydronic air handlers. DOE notes that this 
integration of standby mode and off mode hours is proposed only for 
hydronic air handlers, since, as discussed above, the energy use of 
these modes is already addressed in other established or proposed 
metrics for the other furnace fan products covered by this rulemaking. 
DOE further seeks comment on whether hydronic air handlers are 
typically equipped with a seasonal off switch or if consumers would 
turn off power to the hydronic air handler. If so, DOE also requests 
comment on the expected off mode electrical energy consumption, the 
number of hours that should be allocated to standby mode and the number 
that should be allocated to off mode, as well as data to support these 
allocations.

H. Methodology for Deriving the Fan Efficiency Rating

    First, three determinations (i.e., measurements of airflow and 
electrical consumption at a measured ESP) will be made for each rating 
airflow-control setting according to the methods proposed in this 
notice and incorporated by reference and modified from ANSI/AMCA 210-
07. DOE proposes to specify determinations at: (1) 0.1 in.w.c.; (2) an 
ESP equal to the applicable reference system ESP divided by 2; and (3) 
an ESP between the applicable reference system ESP and 0.1 in.w.c. 
above that reference system ESP. DOE proposes the following 
calculations to derive FER using these measured values. First, fit 
separate quadratic curves to the airflow and ESP measurements of the 
determinations for each rating airflow-control setting to derive a 
performance curve (relates airflow to ESP). The best-fit relationship 
would minimize the sum of the squares

[[Page 28690]]

of the differences between the measured and calculated airflow rates of 
the three determinations. The derived quadratic performance curves 
should express airflow as a function of ESP in the following form:

Q i= aiESP2 + biESP + 
ci

Where:

Qi = airflow in cfm for rating airflow-control setting i;
ESP = external static pressure in in.w.c.; and
ai,bi,ci = quadratic coefficients 
for rating airflow-control setting i.

    Next, calculate the reference system airflow using the quadratic 
performance curve derived for the maximum airflow-control setting and 
the appropriate reference system ESP, ESPref, for the 
product (see Table III.4). Using this maximum airflow, Qmax, 
determine the reference system curve coefficient, Kref, as 
follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.005

Where:

    Kref = a constant that characterizes the reference 
system;
    ESPref = specified reference system external static 
pressure in in.w.c.; and
    Qmax = airflow in maximum airflow control setting at 
ESPref, in cfm.

    The intersections of the reference system curve and the performance 
curves of each rating airflow-control setting are the expected 
operating points for the furnace fan in ducting with the 
characteristics of the reference system. Determine the airflows of the 
operating points in the other (non-maximum) rating airflow-control 
settings by identifying at which airflows the reference system curve 
intersects each performance curve. Do this by solving separately for 
each control setting the set of two equations representing the 
reference system curve and performance curve. To calculate the ESPs of 
the operating points, use the previously calculated airflows and the 
reference system equation.
    Electrical consumption at the operating points is determined using 
curve fits for power input derived from the power measurements made for 
the rating airflow-control settings. Fit a separate quadratic curve to 
the electrical consumption and ESP measurements made for each airflow-
control setting to derive an equation providing electrical consumption 
as a function of ESP for each rating airflow-control setting in the 
following form:

Ei[middot]XiESPs+YiESP + 
Zi

Where:

Ei = electrical consumption in watts for rating airflow-
control setting i;
ESP = external static pressure in in.w.c.; and
xi,yi,zi = quadratic coefficients 
for rating airflow-control setting i.

    Input the previously calculated ESPs of the operating points into 
the electrical consumption curve to derive the expected electrical 
consumption at the operating point for each rating airflow-control 
setting. Use these electrical consumption measurements to calculate 
FER.
    A general form of the FER equation is as follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.007
    
Where:

FER = fan efficiency rating in watts/1000 cfm;
CH = annual furnace fan cooling operating hours;
Emax = electrical consumption at maximum airflow-control 
setting operating point;
HH = annual furnace fan heating operating hours;
Eheat = electrical consumption at the default heating 
airflow-control setting operating point for units with single-stage 
heating or the default low-heating airflow control setting operating 
point for units with multi-stage heating;
CCH = annual furnace fan constant circulation hours;
Ecirc = electrical consumption at the default constant-
circulation airflow-control setting operating point (or lowest 
default airflow-control setting operating point if a default 
constant-circulation airflow-control setting is not specified);
SBH = annual furnace fan standby mode operating hours;
ESB = electrical consumption in standby mode;
OH = annual furnace fan off mode operating hours;
EOFF = electrical consumption in off mode;
Qmax = airflow at maximum airflow-control setting 
operating point; and
1000 = constant to put metric in terms of watts/1000 cfm, which is 
consistent with industry practice.

    There are a number of variations of the FER equation depending on 
the product type. For furnace fans used in HVAC products other than 
hydronic air handlers, standby mode and off mode electrical energy 
consumption is not integrated in the FER calculation, because such 
energy consumption is captured in other test procedure provisions. The 
standby mode and off mode variables (i.e., SBH, ESB, OH, and 
EOFF) are eliminated from the above equation as a result. 
For furnace fans used in hydronic air handlers, electrical energy 
consumption in standby mode and off mode is integrated in the FER 
metric. DOE proposes to designate the hydronic air handler variation of 
the FER metric as integrated fan efficiency rating (IFER). Section 
III.G includes a detailed discussion addressing standby mode and off 
mode electrical energy consumption. For hydronic air handlers that are 
used in both heating and cooling applications, all terms shown in the 
above equation are used in the calculation. For hydronic air handlers 
that are not used in cooling applications, the cooling mode energy 
consumption is excluded from the equation. For single-stage, heating-
only products, Eheat equals Emax. For multi-
stage, heating-only products, the reference system is still defined by 
the maximum airflow-control setting (expected to be the default high-
heat setting), but Eheat is the electrical consumption in 
the default low-heat airflow control setting. For non-hydronic air 
handler products (i.e., weatherized and non-weatherized gas furnaces, 
oil-fired furnaces, electric furnaces, and modular blowers), the 
standby mode energy consumption is excluded from the calculation, 
because electrical energy consumption in this mode is already fully 
accounted for in other established or proposed DOE test procedures, as 
described in Table III.5.
    Table III.6 presents the proposed values for the operating hour 
variables in the above FER equations.

                         Table III.6--Proposed Operating Hour Values for Calculating FER
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Operating mode                     Variable           Single-stage (hours)     Multi-stage (hours)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heating mode.........................  HH.....................  830....................  830/HCR.

[[Page 28691]]

 
Circulation mode.....................  CCH....................  400....................  400.
Cooling mode.........................  CH.....................  640....................  640.
Off mode (if applicable).............  OH.....................  0......................  0.
Standby (if applicable)..............  SBH....................  8760-HH-CCH-CH-OH......  8760-HH-CCH-CH-OH.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I. Sampling Plans and Certification Report Requirements for Residential 
Furnace Fans

    DOE provides sampling plans for all covered products. The purpose 
of these sampling plans is to provide uniform statistical quality for 
the various test procedure representations of energy consumption and 
energy efficiency for each covered product. These sampling plans apply 
to all aspects of the EPCA program for consumer products, including 
public representations, labeling, and energy conservation standards. 10 
CFR 429.11 DOE proposes that the existing sampling plans used for 
furnaces be adopted and applied to measures of energy consumption for 
furnace fans, with some exceptions as noted in the discussion below.
    For purposes of certification testing, the determination that a 
basic model complies with the applicable energy conservation standard 
must be based on testing conducted using DOE's test procedures and the 
sampling procedures, which are found at 10 CFR 429.18 for residential 
furnaces. The sampling procedures provide that ``a sample of sufficient 
size shall be randomly selected and tested to ensure [compliance].'' A 
minimum of two units must be tested to certify a basic model as 
compliant. This minimum is implicit in the requirement to calculate a 
mean--an average--which requires at least two values. Under no 
circumstances is a sample size of one (1) authorized. Manufacturers may 
need to test more than two samples depending on the variability of 
their sample. Therefore, the sample size can be an important element 
when evaluating the compliance of a basic model.
    DOE uses statistically meaningful sampling procedures for selecting 
test specimens of residential products, which would require the 
manufacturer to select a sample at random from a production line and, 
after each unit or group of units is tested, either accept the sample 
or continue sampling and testing additional units until a rating 
determination can be made. DOE did not propose a specific sample size 
for each product because the sample size is determined by the validity 
of the sample and how the mean compares to the standard, factors which 
cannot be determined in advance.
    In this notice, DOE proposes to create a provision at 10 CFR 429.55 
for furnace fan certification. This section would include sampling 
procedures and certification report requirements for furnace fans. DOE 
proposes that 10 CFR 429.55 adopt, for furnace fans, the same 
statistical sampling procedures that are applicable to residential 
furnaces, which are contained in 10 CFR 429.18. DOE proposes that these 
statistical sampling procedures be applied to covered products 
addressed by the test procedures in this NOPR. DOE believes product 
variability and measurement repeatability associated with the 
electrical energy consumption measurements proposed for rating 
residential furnace fans are similar to the variability and measurement 
repeatability associated with electrical energy consumption measurement 
required for residential furnaces. Hence, DOE believes that the 
existing statistical sampling procedures for furnace measures of energy 
consumption and efficiency are appropriate for the corresponding 
measures for furnace fans.
    Although the statistical sampling procedures would be the same for 
furnaces and furnace fans, DOE proposes to create the new section 
429.55 within 10 CFR part 429, because certification reporting 
requirements for furnace fans will be different than those specified 
for furnaces. DOE proposes that this section specify reporting of the 
general certification report requirements within 10 CFR 429.12, as well 
as the following additional information in certification reports for 
furnace fans:
     Residential furnace fans used in HVAC products other than 
hydronic air-handlers: The fan efficiency rating (FER) in watts per 
thousand cubic feet per minute (W/cfm); the maximum airflow capacity at 
the reference system external static pressure (ESP) in cubic feet per 
minute (cfm); whether the HVAC product has multi-stage or modulating 
heating, and if so, the maximum and minimum output heat capacities in 
British thermal units per hour (Btu/h); and whether the HVAC product is 
designated for use in manufactured homes.
     Residential furnace fans used in hydronic air-handlers: 
The integrated fan efficiency rating (IFER) in watts per thousand cubic 
feet per minute (W/cfm); the maximum airflow capacity at the reference 
system ESP in cubic feet per minute (cfm); whether the HVAC product has 
multi-stage or modulating heating, and if so, the maximum and minimum 
output heat capacities in British thermal units per hour (Btu/h); and 
whether the HVAC product is designated for use in manufactured homes.
    DOE requests comment on whether the sampling plan specified in 10 
CFR 429.18 for residential furnaces is appropriate for residential 
furnace fans. DOE also requests comment on whether the proposed 
certification report requirements are appropriate. (See Issue 10 under 
``Issues on Which DOE Seeks Comment'' in section V.E of this NOPR.)

IV. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review

A. Review Under Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget has determined that test 
procedure rulemakings do not constitute ``significant regulatory 
actions'' under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory 
Planning and Review,'' 58 FR 51735 (Oct. 4, 1993). Accordingly, this 
action was not subject to review under the Executive Order by the 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB).

B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires 
preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IFRA) for 
any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment and a final 
regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) for any such rule that an agency 
adopts as a final rule, unless the agency certifies that the rule, if 
promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. As required by Executive Order 
13272, ``Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking,'' 
67 FR

[[Page 28692]]

53461 (August 16, 2002), DOE published procedures and policies on 
February 19, 2003, to ensure that the potential impacts of its rules on 
small entities are properly considered during the DOE rulemaking 
process. 68 FR 7990. DOE's procedures and policies may be viewed on the 
Office of the General Counsel's Web site (www.gc.doe.gov).
    DOE reviewed today's proposed rule under the provisions of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act and the procedures and policies published on 
February 19, 2003. 68 FR 7990. DOE has tentatively concluded that the 
proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities under the provisions of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act. The factual basis for this certification is 
as follows:
    The Small Business Administration (SBA) considers an entity to be a 
small business if, together with its affiliates, it employs fewer than 
a threshold number of workers specified in 13 CFR part 121. The 
threshold values set forth in these regulations use size standards and 
codes established by the North American Industry Classification System 
(NAICS) that are available at: http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/Size_Standards_Table.pdf. The threshold number for NAICS 
classification for 333415, which applies to Air-Conditioning and Warm 
Air Heating Equipment and Commercial and Industrial Refrigeration 
Equipment Manufacturing (including furnace fan manufacturers) is 750 
employees.\30\ DOE reviewed the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and 
Refrigeration Institute's Directory of Certified Product Performance 
for Residential Furnaces and Boilers (2009),\31\ the ENERGY STAR 
Product Databases for Gas and Oil Furnaces (May 15, 2009),\32\ the 
California Energy Commission's Appliance Database for Residential 
Furnaces and Boilers,\33\ and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency's 
Qualifying Furnace and Boiler List (April 2, 2009).\34\ From this 
review, DOE found 11 small businesses within the furnace fan industry. 
DOE does not believe the test procedure amendments described in this 
proposed rule would represent a substantial burden to any manufacturer, 
including small manufacturers, as explained below. DOE requests 
comments on its characterization of the furnace fan industry in terms 
of the number of and impacts on small businesses.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ U.S. Small Business Administration, Table of Small Business 
Size Standards (August 22, 2008) (Available at: http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/Size_Standards_Table.pdf).
    \31\ The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, 
Directory of Certified Product Performance (June 2009) (Available 
at: http://www.ahridirectory.org/ahridirectory/pages/home.aspx).
    \32\ The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. 
Department of Energy, ENERGY STAR Furnaces--Product Databases for 
Gas and Oil Furnaces (May 15, 2009) (Available at: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=furnaces.pr_furnaces).
    \33\ The California Energy Commission, Appliance Database for 
Residential Furnaces and Boilers (2009) (Available at: http://www.appliances.energy.ca.gov/QuickSearch.aspx).
    \34\ Consortium of Energy Efficiency, Qualifying Furnace and 
Boiler List (April 2, 2009) (Available at: http://www.ceedirectory.org/ceedirectory/pages/cee/ceeDirectoryInfo.aspx).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This proposed rule would establish test procedures that would be 
used for representations of energy use and to test compliance with new 
energy conservation standards, which are being developed in a 
concurrent rulemaking, for the products that are the subject of this 
rulemaking. This notice proposes new test procedures for active mode 
testing for all covered products, and, for furnace fans used in 
hydronic air handlers, it proposes test procedures for standby mode and 
off mode testing as well. For active mode testing, the proposed rule 
would require the use of the testing methods prescribed in ANSI/AMCA 
210-07. As discussed in section III.C above, this would not represent a 
substantial burden to any furnace fan manufacturer, small or large. 
According to AHRI, the trade organization that represents manufacturers 
of furnace fans, manufacturers currently routinely perform furnace fan 
tests according to ANSI/AMCA 210-07 to generate airflow data for 
intended application of products (AHRI, No. 21 at pp. 3,4). Therefore, 
DOE expects little or no additional cost as the result of the new test 
procedure. If there were to be a new manufacturer which does not own 
the necessary equipment (i.e., an ANSI/AMCA 210-07-compliant airflow 
chamber), DOE anticipates an investment of less than $150,000 would be 
required to both acquire it and to train personnel to use it properly. 
Alternatively, a manufacturer could conduct testing through an 
independent third-party facility. In DOE's experience, third-party 
active mode furnace fan testing costs less than $2,000 per test. DOE 
estimates the time to complete a single active mode furnace fan test 
according to the proposed test procedure to be 3 to 4 hours, including 
setup.
    For standby mode and off mode testing, the proposed rule would 
require the use of the testing methods prescribed in IEC Standard 62301 
(Second Edition). As discussed in section III.G, the proposed rule 
would only result in additional testing related to standby mode and off 
mode electrical energy consumption for manufacturers of furnace fans 
used in hydronic air handlers. Manufacturers of furnace fans used in 
HVAC products other than hydronic air handlers are (or will be) 
required to conduct standby mode and off mode testing pursuant to other 
rulemakings. DOE expects that furnace fan manufacturers would incur no 
additional equipment costs as a result of the proposed standby mode and 
off mode testing because an electrical power meter is already required 
to conduct the proposed active mode testing. Also, manufacturers of 
furnace fans used in hydronic air handlers are often manufacturers of 
furnace fans used in other HVAC products. These manufacturers should 
already possess or will have to purchase an electrical power meter as a 
result of other rulemakings that require standby mode and off mode 
testing of the non-hydronic products covered in this rulemaking. DOE 
estimates the cost per unit for standby mode and off mode testing to be 
less than $300 and the time to complete a single standby mode and off 
mode test according to the proposed test procedure to be less than one 
hour.
    Even in the unlikely scenario that a small manufacturer with low 
annual shipments has to purchase testing equipment or contract with a 
third-party test facility as a result of this rule, DOE estimates that 
the per-unit investment would not be significant. For example, a small 
manufacturer that ships 1,000 units per year could choose to purchase 
the necessary equipment for approximately $150,000. DOE estimates that, 
over the life of the test equipment (20 years), the additional cost of 
testing for the manufacturer would be $7.50 per unit shipped. A less 
costly option for the same manufacturer would be to use third-party 
testing to certify its products. In this scenario, the small 
manufacturer would likely pay less than $2,300 per test for at least 
two tests to certify one new product every two years. DOE estimates 
that this would cost the small manufacturer $2.30 per unit shipped. DOE 
finds that the selling price for HVAC products that incorporate furnace 
fans ranges from approximately $400 to $4,000. Therefore, the added 
cost of testing, at most, would be less than 2 percent of the 
manufacturer selling price (and lower than 0.1 percent in some cases).
    For these reasons, DOE certifies that the proposed rule, if 
adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a

[[Page 28693]]

regulatory flexibility analysis for this rulemaking. DOE will provide 
its certification and supporting statement of factual basis to the 
Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA for review under 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    There is currently no information collection requirement related to 
the test procedure for residential furnace fans. In the event that DOE 
proposes an energy conservation standard with which manufacturers must 
demonstrate compliance, or otherwise proposes to require the collection 
of information derived from the testing of residential furnace fans 
according to this test procedure, DOE will seek OMB approval of such 
information collection requirement.
    Manufacturers of covered products must certify to DOE that their 
products comply with any applicable energy conservation standard. In 
certifying compliance, manufacturers must test their products according 
to the applicable DOE test procedure, including any amendments adopted 
for that test procedure.
    DOE established regulations for the certification and recordkeeping 
requirements for certain covered consumer products and commercial 
equipment. 76 FR 12422 (March 7, 2011). The collection-of-information 
requirement for the certification and recordkeeping was subject to 
review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). 
This requirement was approved by OMB under OMB Control Number 1910-
1400. Public reporting burden for the certification was estimated to 
average 20 hours per response, including the time for reviewing 
instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection of information.
    As stated above, in the event DOE proposes an energy conservation 
standard for residential furnace fans with which manufacturers must 
demonstrate compliance, DOE will seek OMB approval of the associated 
information collection requirement. DOE will seek approval either 
through a proposed amendment to the information collection requirement 
approved under OMB control number 1910-1400 or as a separate proposed 
information collection requirement.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB Control Number.

D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    In this notice of proposed rulemaking, DOE proposes a new test 
procedure for furnace fans. DOE has determined that this rule falls 
into a class of actions that are categorically excluded from review 
under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.) and DOE's implementing regulations at 10 CFR part 1021. 
Specifically, this rule proposes a test procedure without affecting the 
amount, quality or distribution of energy usage, and, therefore, will 
not result in any environmental impacts. Thus, this rulemaking is 
covered by Categorical Exclusion A5 under 10 CFR part 1021, subpart D, 
which applies to any rulemaking that does not result in any 
environmental impacts. Accordingly, neither an environmental assessment 
nor an environmental impact statement is required.

E. Review Under Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132, ``Federalism,'' 64 FR 43255 (August 10, 
1999) imposes certain requirements on Federal agencies formulating and 
implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that 
have Federalism implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to 
examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any 
action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and 
to carefully assess the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order 
also requires agencies to have an accountable process to ensure 
meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the 
development of regulatory policies that have Federalism implications. 
On March 14, 2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the 
intergovernmental consultation process it will follow in the 
development of such regulations. 65 FR 13735. DOE has examined this 
proposed rule and has tentatively determined that it would not have a 
substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between 
the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government. EPCA 
governs and prescribes Federal preemption of State regulations as to 
energy conservation for the products that are the subject of today's 
proposed rule. States can petition DOE for exemption from such 
preemption to the extent, and based on criteria, set forth in EPCA. (42 
U.S.C. 6297(d)) No further action is required by Executive Order 13132.

F. Review Under Executive Order 12988

    Regarding the review of existing regulations and the promulgation 
of new regulations, section 3(a) of Executive Order 12988, ``Civil 
Justice Reform,'' 61 FR 4729 (Feb. 7, 1996), imposes on Federal 
agencies the general duty to adhere to the following requirements: (1) 
Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) write regulations to 
minimize litigation; (3) provide a clear legal standard for affected 
conduct rather than a general standard; and (4) promote simplification 
and burden reduction. With regard to the review required by section 
3(a), section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988 specifically requires that 
Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the 
regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any; (2) 
clearly specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) 
provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct while promoting 
simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies the retroactive 
effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses 
other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship 
under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of 
Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations 
in light of applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b) to determine 
whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. 
DOE has completed the required review and determined that, to the 
extent permitted by law, the proposed rule meets the relevant standards 
of Executive Order 12988.

G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) 
requires each Federal agency to assess the effects of Federal 
regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments and the 
private sector. Public Law 104-4, sec. 201 (codified at 2 U.S.C. 1531). 
For a proposed regulatory action likely to result in a rule that may 
cause the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in the 
aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one 
year (adjusted annually for inflation), section 202 of UMRA requires a 
Federal agency to publish a written statement that estimates the 
resulting costs, benefits, and other effects on the national economy. 
(2 U.S.C. 1532(a), (b)) The UMRA also requires a Federal agency to 
develop an effective process

[[Page 28694]]

to permit timely input by elected officers of State, local, and Tribal 
governments on a ``significant intergovernmental mandate,'' and 
requires an agency plan for giving notice and opportunity for timely 
input to potentially affected small governments before establishing any 
requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small 
governments. On March 18, 1997, DOE published a statement of policy on 
its process for intergovernmental consultation under UMRA. 62 FR 12820. 
DOE's policy statement is also available at www.gc.doe.gov. DOE 
examined today's proposed rule according to UMRA and its statement of 
policy and determined that the rule contains neither an 
intergovernmental mandate, nor a mandate that may result in the 
expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, 
or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any year. 
Accordingly, no assessment or analysis is required under UMRA.

H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 
1999

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations 
Act, 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277) requires Federal agencies to issue a Family 
Policymaking Assessment for any rule that may affect family well-being. 
This rule would not have any impact on the autonomy or integrity of the 
family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE has concluded that it is not 
necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment.

I. Review Under Executive Order 12630

    DOE has determined, under Executive Order 12630, ``Governmental 
Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property 
Rights,'' 53 FR 8859 (March 18, 1988) that this regulation would not 
result in any takings that might require compensation under the Fifth 
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

J. Review Under Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 
2001

    Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations 
Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note) provides for Federal agencies to review 
most disseminations of information to the public under guidelines 
established by each agency pursuant to general guidelines issued by 
OMB. OMB's guidelines were published at 67 FR 8452 (Feb. 22, 2002), and 
DOE's guidelines were published at 67 FR 62446 (Oct. 7, 2002). DOE has 
reviewed today's proposed rule under the OMB and DOE guidelines and has 
concluded that it is consistent with applicable policies in those 
guidelines.

K. Review Under Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211, ``Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,'' 66 FR 28355 
(May 22, 2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to OIRA 
at OMB, a Statement of Energy Effects for any significant energy 
action. A ``significant energy action'' is defined as any action by an 
agency that promulgates or is expected to lead to promulgation of a 
final rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory action under 
Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to 
have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use 
of energy; or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a 
significant energy action. For any proposed significant energy action, 
the agency must provide a detailed statement of any adverse effects on 
energy supply, distribution, or use should the proposal be implemented, 
and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected 
benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use.
    DOE has tentatively concluded that today's regulatory action, which 
would prescribe the test procedure for measuring the energy efficiency 
of residential furnace fans, is not a significant energy action because 
the proposed test procedure is not a significant regulatory action 
under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant 
adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, nor has 
it been designated as a significant energy action by the Administrator 
of OIRA. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy 
Effects on the proposed rule.

L. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 
1974

    Under section 301 of the Department of Energy Organization Act 
(Pub. L. 95-91), DOE must comply with all laws applicable to the former 
Federal Energy Administration, including section 32 of the Federal 
Energy Administration Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93-275), as amended by the 
Federal Energy Administration Authorization Act of 1977. (Pub. L. 95-
70) 15 U.S.C. 788. Section 32 provides in relevant part that, where a 
proposed rule authorizes or requires use of commercial standards, the 
notice of proposed rulemaking must inform the public of the use and 
background of such standards. In addition, section 32(c) requires DOE 
to consult with the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Federal 
Trade Commission (FTC) concerning the impact of the commercial or 
industry standards on competition.
    The proposed rule incorporates testing methods contained in ANSI/
AMCA 210-07 [bond] ANSI/ASHRAE 51-07, ``Laboratory Methods of Testing 
Fans for Certified Aerodynamic Performance Rating''; IEC Standard 62301 
(Second Edition), ``Household electrical appliances--Measurement of 
standby power''; and ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 103, ``Method of Testing for 
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency of Residential Central Furnaces and 
Boilers.'' While today's proposed test procedure is not exclusively 
based on these standards, some components of the DOE test procedure 
would adopt definitions, test setup, measurement techniques, and 
additional calculations from them without amendment. The Department has 
evaluated these standards and is unable to conclude whether they fully 
comply with the requirements of section 32(b) of the FEAA, (i.e., that 
they were developed in a manner that fully provides for public 
participation, comment, and review). DOE will consult with the Attorney 
General and the Chairman of the FTC concerning the impact of these test 
procedures on competition, prior to prescribing a final rule.

V. Public Participation

A. Attendance at Public Meeting

    The time, date and location of the public meeting are listed in the 
DATES and ADDRESSES sections at the beginning of this document. If you 
plan to attend the public meeting, please notify Ms. Brenda Edwards at 
(202) 586-2945 or Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov. As explained in the 
ADDRESSES section, foreign nationals visiting DOE Headquarters are 
subject to advance security screening procedures. Any foreign national 
wishing to participate in the meeting should advise DOE of this fact as 
soon as possible by contacting Ms. Brenda Edwards in order to initiate 
the necessary procedures.
    In addition, you can attend the public meeting via webinar. Webinar 
registration information, participant instructions, and information 
about the capabilities available to webinar participants will be 
published on DOE's Web site at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/furnace_fans.html. Participants are 
responsible for ensuring their systems are compatible with the webinar 
software.

[[Page 28695]]

B. Procedure for Submitting Requests To Speak and Prepared General 
Statements for Distribution

    Any person who has an interest in the topics addressed in this 
notice, or who is representative of a group or class of persons that 
has an interest in these issues, may request an opportunity to make an 
oral presentation at the public meeting. Such persons may hand-deliver 
requests to speak to the address shown in the ADDRESSES section at the 
beginning of this notice between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. Requests may also be sent by 
mail or email to Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121, or Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov. Persons 
who wish to speak should include in their request a computer diskette 
or CD-ROM in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or text (ASCII) file 
format that briefly describes the nature of their interest in this 
rulemaking and the topics they wish to discuss. Such persons should 
also provide a daytime telephone number where they can be reached.
    DOE requests persons selected to make an oral presentation to 
submit an advance copy of their statements at least one week before the 
public meeting. DOE may permit persons who cannot supply an advance 
copy of their statement to participate, if those persons have made 
advance alternative arrangements with the Building Technologies 
Program. As necessary, request to give an oral presentation should ask 
for such alternative arrangements.
    Any person who has plans to present a prepared general statement 
may request that copies of his or her statement be made available at 
the public meeting. Such persons may submit requests, along with an 
advance electronic copy of their statement in PDF (preferred), 
Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format, to 
the appropriate address shown in the ADDRESSES section at the beginning 
of this notice. The request and advance copy of statements must be 
received at least one week before the public meeting and may be 
emailed, hand-delivered, or sent by mail. DOE prefers to receive 
requests and advance copies via email. Please include a telephone 
number to enable DOE staff to make follow-up contact, if needed.

C. Conduct of Public Meeting

    DOE will designate a DOE official to preside at the public meeting 
and may also use a professional facilitator to aid discussion. The 
meeting will not be a judicial or evidentiary-type public hearing, but 
DOE will conduct it in accordance with section 336 of EPCA (42 U.S.C. 
6306). A court reporter will be present to record the proceedings and 
prepare a transcript. DOE reserves the right to schedule the order of 
presentations and to establish the procedures governing the conduct of 
the public meeting. There shall not be discussion of proprietary 
information, costs or prices, market share, or other commercial matters 
regulated by U.S. anti-trust laws. After the public meeting, interested 
parties may submit further comments on the proceedings, as well as on 
any aspect of the rulemaking, until the end of the comment period.
    The public meeting will be conducted in an informal, conference 
style. DOE will present summaries of comments received before the 
public meeting, allow time for prepared general statements by 
participants, and encourage all interested parties to share their views 
on issues affecting this rulemaking. Each participant will be allowed 
to make a general statement (within time limits determined by DOE), 
before the discussion of specific topics. DOE will allow, as time 
permits, other participants to comment briefly on any general 
statements.
    At the end of all prepared statements on a topic, DOE will permit 
participants to clarify their statements briefly and comment on 
statements made by others. Participants should be prepared to answer 
questions by DOE and by other participants concerning these issues. DOE 
representatives may also ask questions of participants concerning other 
matters relevant to this rulemaking. The official conducting the public 
meeting will accept additional comments or questions from those 
attending, as time permits. The presiding official will announce any 
further procedural rules or modification of the above procedures that 
may be needed for the proper conduct of the public meeting.
    A transcript of the public meeting will be posted on the DOE Web 
site and will be included in the docket, which can be viewed as 
described in the Docket section at the beginning of this notice. In 
addition, any person may buy a copy of the transcript from the 
transcribing reporter.

D. Submission of Comments

    DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this 
proposed rule before or after the public meeting, but no later than the 
date provided in the DATES section at the beginning of this proposed 
rule. Interested parties may submit comments using any of the methods 
described in the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this notice.
    Submitting comments via www.regulations.gov. The 
www.regulations.gov web page will require you to provide your name and 
contact information. Your contact information will be viewable to DOE 
Building Technologies staff only. Your contact information will not be 
publicly viewable except for your first and last names, organization 
name (if any), and submitter representative name (if any). If your 
comment is not processed properly because of technical difficulties, 
DOE will use this information to contact you. If DOE cannot read your 
comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for 
clarification, DOE may not be able to consider your comment.
    However, your contact information will be publicly viewable if you 
include it in the comment itself or in any documents attached to your 
comment. Any information that you do not want to be publicly viewable 
should not be included in your comment, nor in any document attached to 
your comment. Otherwise, persons viewing comments will see only first 
and last names, organization names, correspondence containing comments, 
and any documents submitted with the comments.
    Do not submit to www.regulations.gov information for which 
disclosure is restricted by statute, such as trade secrets and 
commercial or financial information (hereinafter referred to as 
Confidential Business Information (CBI)). Comments submitted through 
www.regulations.gov cannot be claimed as CBI. Comments received through 
the Web site will waive any CBI claims for the information submitted. 
For information on submitting CBI, see the Confidential Business 
Information section.
    DOE processes submissions made through www.regulations.gov before 
posting. Normally, comments will be posted within a few days of being 
submitted. However, if large volumes of comments are being processed 
simultaneously, your comment may not be viewable for up to several 
weeks. Please keep the comment tracking number that www.regulations.gov

[[Page 28696]]

provides after you have successfully uploaded your comment.
    Submitting comments via email, hand delivery, or mail. Comments and 
documents submitted via email, hand delivery, or mail also will be 
posted to www.regulations.gov. If you do not want your personal contact 
information to be publicly viewable, do not include it in your comment 
or any accompanying documents. Instead, provide your contact 
information in a cover letter. Include your first and last names, email 
address, telephone number, and optional mailing address. The cover 
letter will not be publicly viewable as long as it does not include any 
comments.
    Include contact information each time you submit comments, data, 
documents, and other information to DOE. If you submit via mail or hand 
delivery/courier, please provide all items on a compact disk (CD), if 
feasible, in which case it is not necessary to submit printed copies. 
No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted.
    Comments, data, and other information submitted to DOE 
electronically should be provided in PDF (preferred), Microsoft Word or 
Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format. Provide documents that 
are not secured, written in English, and are free of any defects or 
viruses. Documents should not contain special characters or any form of 
encryption and, if possible, they should carry the electronic signature 
of the author.
    Campaign form letters. Please submit campaign form letters by the 
originating organization in batches of between 50 to 500 form letters 
per PDF or as one form letter with a list of supporters' names compiled 
into one or more PDFs. This reduces comment processing and posting 
time.
    Confidential Business Information. Pursuant to 10 CFR 1004.11, any 
person submitting information that he or she believes to be 
confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit via 
email, postal mail, or hand delivery/courier two well-marked copies: 
one copy of the document marked confidential including all the 
information believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document 
marked non-confidential with the information believed to be 
confidential deleted. Submit these documents via email or on a CD, if 
feasible. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential 
status of the information and treat it according to its determination.
    Factors of interest to DOE when evaluating requests to treat 
submitted information as confidential include: (1) A description of the 
items; (2) whether and why such items are customarily treated as 
confidential within the industry; (3) whether the information is 
generally known by or available from other sources; (4) whether the 
information has previously been made available to others without 
obligation concerning its confidentiality; (5) an explanation of the 
competitive injury to the submitting person which would result from 
public disclosure; (6) when such information might lose its 
confidential character due to the passage of time; and (7) why 
disclosure of the information would be contrary to the public interest.
    It is DOE's policy that all comments may be included in the public 
docket, without change and as received, including any personal 
information provided in the comments (except information deemed to be 
exempt from public disclosure).

E. Issues on Which DOE Seeks Comment

    Although DOE welcomes comments on any aspect of this proposal, DOE 
is particularly interested in receiving comments and views of 
interested parties concerning the following issues:
1. Airflow-Control Setting Function Designations
    DOE is aware that furnace fan control schemes typically include 
airflow-control settings (i.e., set ranges of differing operating 
airflows), each often designated for specific functions (e.g., cooling, 
heating, and circulation). DOE found that the maximum airflow-control 
setting is often designated for cooling operation, that median default 
airflow-control settings are designated for heating operation, and that 
the lowest default airflow-control setting is designated for constant-
circulation operation. DOE is aware, however, that airflow-control 
settings are not always designated for the same function across all 
products, models, and manufacturers. DOE is also aware that some 
furnace fans have more than three airflow-control settings and that 
multiple airflow-control settings can be designated for heating and/or 
cooling in multi-stage products. DOE seeks comment on the 
appropriateness of the proposed assumptions regarding which airflow-
control settings are designated for which functions and whether these 
assumed designations are appropriate for deriving FER. DOE also seeks 
comment on airflow-control setting designations for multi-stage 
products.
2. Operating Hour Values for Calculating the Fan Efficiency Rating
    DOE is aware that climate conditions and consumer behavior vary in 
the United States. DOE's proposed furnace fan annual operating hour 
values are intended to be representative of the national average 
operating hours that furnace fans are expected to spend performing each 
primary function: cooling, heating, and constant-circulation. DOE 
proposes to specify one set of annual operating hours for products with 
single-stage heating and another for products with multi-stage or 
modulating heating. DOE does not propose to account for multi-stage 
cooling, because detailed characteristics of the cooling system with 
which furnace fan HVAC products are paired, such as the presence and 
capacity of low-stage cooling, are not known. In addition, multi-stage 
heating is not necessarily associated with multi-stage cooling 
capability (e.g., multi-stage cooling is much less common than multi-
stage furnace equipment). DOE also requests comments on whether 
hydronic air handlers are designed to provide multi-stage or modulated 
heat. DOE requests comments on whether the proposed operating hour 
values and proposed rating airflow-control settings are appropriate for 
rating multi-stage and modulating hydronic air handlers.
    Table V.1 below summarizes the proposed operating hour values to be 
specified for calculating FER.

                           Table V.1--Proposed Average Annual Operating Hours by Mode
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Operating mode                     Variable           Single-stage (hours)     Multi-stage (hours)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heating mode.........................  HH.....................  830....................  830/HCR.
Circulation mode.....................  CCH....................  400....................  400.
Cooling mode.........................  CH.....................  640....................  640.
Off mode (if applicable).............  OH.....................  0......................  0.
Standby mode (if applicable).........  SBH....................  8760-HH-CCH-CH-OH......  8760-HH-CCH-CH-OH.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 28697]]

    DOE requests comment on whether the proposed operating hour values 
are reasonable estimations of national average operating hours for each 
furnace fan function. DOE also requests comment on the methodology and 
assumptions used to estimate these values, which are described in 
detail in section III.D.
3. Reference System ESP Values
    As described in section III.E, DOE compiled field ESP data to 
determine reference system ESP values that are representative of field 
conditions. Based on the data collected, DOE proposes the reference 
system ESP values in Table V.2 below for the four identified 
installation types.

  Table V.2--Proposed Reference System ESP Values by Installation Type
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Weighted
                    Installation type                       average ESP
                                                            (in. w.c.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heating-only units......................................            0.50
Units with an internal evaporator coil..................            0.50
Units designed to be paired with an evaporator coil.....            0.65
Manufactured homes \35\.................................            0.30
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE seeks comment and data regarding these values and the 
assumptions used to estimate them, which are detailed in section III.E, 
are appropriate. DOE also seeks comment on whether the specified 
reference system ESP should vary with the HVAC product capacity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ Manufactured home external static pressure is much smaller 
due to the fact there is no return air duct work in manufactured 
homes. Also, HUD requirements stipulate that the duct work for 
cooling should be set at 0.3 in. w.c.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. Multiple Reference System Method
    DOE is aware that field ESPs can be higher than recommended by 
manufacturers. DOE is also aware that CSA considered rating fan 
performance in multiple reference systems for the finalized version of 
CSA C823: one at 0.3 in.w.c. in the heating speed to represent a 
manufacturer-recommended installation, and one at 0.6 in.w.c. in the 
heating speed to be more representative of a typical (poor) field 
installation. A multiple-reference system rating metric would specify 
reference systems to represent the expected range of installations. DOE 
expects that a furnace fan may provide enough airflow for 4 tons of 
cooling in a house with generously-sized ducts, but it may only provide 
enough airflow for 3 tons of cooling in a house with a more restrictive 
duct system. Therefore, a furnace fan with these performance 
characteristics might be installed in 2-ton to 4-ton cooling systems in 
large-duct houses and 1.5-ton to 3-ton cooling systems in tight-duct 
houses. DOE recognizes that rating the furnace fan using one reference 
system defined by a high ESP and one reference system defined by a low 
ESP (determined by statistical methods from field ESP data) could give 
a good indication of the ability of the furnace fan to provide good 
performance over a range of ESP. DOE investigated the use of a 
combined, multi-reference system FER, but found that it provided no 
additional useful information compared to the proposed, single-
reference system FER. This comparison is discussed in detail in section 
III.E. DOE requests comment on multiple-reference system rating 
approaches and whether they would give a better indication of the 
overall performance, as compared to the proposed single reference 
system approach.
5. Standby Mode and Off Mode Electrical Energy Consumption for Furnace 
Fans Used in Hydronic Air Handlers
    DOE proposes to incorporate in this test procedure the methods 
specified in the DOE test procedure for residential furnaces and 
boilers (10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix N, section 8.0) to 
measure the standby mode and off mode energy consumption for furnace 
fans used in hydronic air handlers. On September 13, 2011, DOE 
published a NOPR to update the DOE test procedure for furnaces through 
incorporation by reference of the latest edition of the industry 
standard, specifically IEC Standard 62301 (Second Edition). 76 FR 
56339. DOE proposes to also adopt the updates proposed in the September 
2011 furnaces test procedure NOPR for measurement of standby mode and 
off mode energy of furnace fans incorporated in hydronic air handlers. 
The standby mode and off mode electrical energy consumption of the 
other HVAC products discussed in this notice are already fully 
accounted for in other proposed or established DOE test procedures. DOE 
believes the methods specified in the DOE test procedure for 
residential furnaces and boilers to measure the standby mode and off 
mode energy consumption are appropriate because both furnaces and 
hydronic air handlers are used primarily in central heating 
applications, and DOE expects that the electrical systems (i.e., 
components and controls) of hydronic air handlers are similar to the 
electrical systems of furnaces. DOE seeks comment on whether the 
assumed similarities between the electrical systems of furnaces and 
hydronic air handlers are appropriate.
    DOE proposes to integrate the standby mode and off mode electrical 
energy consumption measurements, ESB and EOFF, 
with the active mode metric for hydronic air handlers. DOE seeks 
comment on whether the methods for measuring standby mode and off mode 
energy consumption specified in the DOE test procedure for residential 
furnaces and boilers are appropriate for hydronic air handlers. As 
mentioned previously, similar to furnaces, DOE expects that hydronic 
air handlers are not typically equipped with a seasonal off switch or 
that consumers would turn off power to the hydronic air handler. 
Therefore, DOE expects that EOFF and the estimated annual 
off mode operating hours, HO, would effectively be equal to zero. DOE 
seeks comment on whether hydronic air handlers have a seasonal off 
switch or consumers would turn off power to the hydronic air handler. 
If so, DOE also requests comment on the expected electrical energy 
consumption in off mode, the number of hours that should be allocated 
to standby mode, and the number of hours that should be allocated to 
off mode, as well as data to support these allocations.
6. Controlling ECM Motors for Testing
    DOE is aware that higher-efficiency motors have complicated control 
schemes that make selecting their available airflow-control settings 
during performance testing difficult. The ability to select and operate 
a furnace fan in multiple airflow-control settings is imperative to 
conducting the proposed test procedure as intended and to derive FER. 
While this may be simple for manufacturers who are familiar with HVAC 
controls, independent test labs may need guidance. Therefore, DOE seeks 
comment on the appropriateness of the proposed test procedures for 
controlling furnace fans that use higher-efficiency motors, including 
recommendations for any necessary modifications.
7. Test Setup
    DOE recognizes that ANSI/AMCA 210-07 includes 16 setup variations. 
DOE requests comments on which of these setups are best-suited for the 
purposes of this test procedure. DOE expects that the blow-through 
setups, such as test setup 12, may be more appropriate than pull-
through setups, such as setup 13, because they are more representative 
of typical installations of the HVAC products discussed in this notice. 
DOE also requests comments on

[[Page 28698]]

whether any of these test setups are inappropriate and should be 
disallowed for the purposes of this test procedure.
8. External Static Pressure
    DOE expects that measurements referred to as ``external static 
pressure'' in manufacturer product literature are the same as ``fan 
static pressure'' measurements in ANSI/AMCA 210-07 (ANSI/AMCA 210-07 
section 3.1.25). The ANSI/AMCA 210-07 ``fan static pressure'' 
measurement is defined to be equal to the outlet total pressure minus 
the inlet total pressure minus the outlet velocity pressure. Therefore, 
this notice proposes an equivalent definition for ``external static 
pressure.'' However, DOE notes that this value is not equal to the 
difference between outlet and inlet static pressure--it is less than 
such a difference by an amount equal to the inlet velocity pressure. 
DOE requests comments on the proposed definition of ``external static 
pressure'' and whether DOE is correct in assuming that external static 
pressure ratings reported in product literature are equivalent to ANSI/
AMCA 210-07 fan static pressure measurements.
9. Ambient Pressure Conditions
    DOE is aware that barometric pressure changes may have an impact on 
test measurement results and notes that the ANSI/AMCA 210-07 standard 
does not appear to include correction for this effect. DOE requests 
comment on whether any limitations on the barometric pressure range or 
adjustments to address the impact of barometric pressure should be 
included in the test procedure.
10. Sampling Plan Procedures and Certification Report Requirements
    DOE proposes to adopt the existing sampling plan procedures 
applicable to residential furnaces for certification of residential 
furnace fans. DOE requests comments on whether the sampling plan 
procedures for residential furnaces are appropriate for representation 
and certification of residential furnace fans measures of electrical 
energy consumption. DOE also proposes to specify the general 
certification report requirements within 10 CFR 429.12, as well as the 
following additional information in certification reports for furnace 
fans:
     Residential furnace fans used in HVAC products other than 
hydronic air-handlers: The represented value of fan efficiency rating 
(FER) in watts per thousand cubic feet per minute (W/cfm); the maximum 
airflow capacity at the reference system ESP in cubic feet per minute 
(cfm); whether the HVAC product has multi-stage or modulating heating, 
and if so, the maximum and minimum output heat capacities in British 
thermal units per hour (Btu/h); and whether the HVAC product is 
designated for use in manufactured homes.
     Residential furnace fans used in hydronic air-handlers: 
The represented value of integrated fan efficiency rating (IFER) in 
watts per thousand cubic feet per minute (W/cfm); the maximum airflow 
capacity at the reference system ESP in cubic feet per minute (cfm); 
whether the HVAC product has multi-stage or modulating heating, and if 
so, the maximum and minimum output heat capacities in British thermal 
units per hour (Btu/h); and whether the HVAC product is designated for 
use in manufactured homes.
    DOE also requests comment on whether these certification report 
requirements are appropriate.

VI. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of today's notice 
of proposed rulemaking.

List of Subjects

10 CFR Part 429

    Confidential business information, Energy conservation, Household 
appliances, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 430

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business 
information, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Imports, 
Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Small 
businesses.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 1, 2012.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, DOE proposes to amend parts 
429 and 430 of chapter II, subchapter D, of Title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations to read as set forth below:

PART 429--CERTIFICATION, COMPLIANCE, AND ENFORCEMENT FOR CONSUMER 
PRODUCTS AND COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT

    1. The authority citation for part 429 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6291-6317.

    2. Add new Sec.  429.55 to read as follows:


Sec.  429.55  Residential furnace fans.

    (a) Sampling plan for selection of units for testing. (1) The 
requirements of Sec.  429.11 are applicable to residential furnace 
fans; and
    (2) For each basic model of heating, ventilation, and air-
conditioning (HVAC) product using a furnace fan, a sample of sufficient 
size shall be randomly selected and tested to ensure that any 
represented value of fan efficiency rating (FER) or integrated fan 
efficiency rating (IFER) for which consumers would favor lower values 
shall be greater than or equal to the higher of:
    (i) The mean of the sample, where:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.008
    

And, x is the sample mean; n is the number of samples; and xi is the 
ith sample;

Or,

    (ii) The upper 97\1/2\ percent confidence limit (UCL) of the true 
mean divided by 1.05, where:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.009


And x 8 is the sample mean; s is the sample standard deviation; n is 
the number of samples; and t0.975 is the t statistic for a 
97.5% one-tailed confidence interval with n-1 degrees of freedom (from 
Appendix A)
    (b) Certification reports. (1) The requirements of Sec.  429.12 are 
applicable to residential furnace fans; and
    (2) Pursuant to Sec.  429.12(b)(13), a certification report shall 
include the following public product-specific information:
    (i) Residential furnace fans used in HVAC products other than 
hydronic air-handlers: The represented value of fan efficiency rating 
(FER) in watts per thousand cubic feet per minute (W/cfm); the maximum 
airflow capacity at the reference system ESP in cubic feet per minute 
(cfm); whether the HVAC product has multi-stage or modulating heating, 
and if so, the maximum and minimum output heat capacities in British 
thermal units per hour (Btu/h); and whether the HVAC product is 
designated for use in manufactured homes.
    (ii) Residential furnace fans used in hydronic air-handlers: The 
represented value of integrated fan efficiency rating (IFER) in watts 
per thousand cubic feet per minute (W/cfm); the maximum airflow 
capacity at the reference system ESP in cubic feet per minute (cfm); 
whether the HVAC product has multi-

[[Page 28699]]

stage or modulating heating, and if so, the maximum and minimum output 
heat capacities in British thermal units per hour (Btu/h); and whether 
the HVAC product is designated for use in manufactured homes.

PART 430--ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAM FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS

    3. The authority citation for part 430 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 6291-6309; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

    4. Section 430.3 is amended by:
    a. Adding paragraph (d)(1);
    b. Redesignating paragraphs (d)(1) through (d)(18) as (d)(2) 
through (d)(19);
    c. Removing, in paragraph (f)(9) ``and appendix N to subpart B'' 
and adding in its place ``appendix N and appendix AA to subpart B'';
    d. Removing, in paragraph (m)(2), ``IBR approved for Appendix J2 
and AA to subpart B'' and adding in its place ``IBR approved for 
appendix G, N, O, P, and AA'' .
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  430.3  Materials incorporated by reference.

* * * * *
    (d) ANSI. * * *
    (1) ANSI/AMCA 210-07  ANSI/ASHRAE 51-07 (``ANSI/AMCA 210-
07''), Laboratory Methods of Testing Fans for Certified Aerodynamic 
Performance Rating, approved 2007, IBR approved for Appendix AA to 
Subpart B.
* * * * *
    5. Section 430.23 is amended by adding a new paragraph (cc) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  430.23  Test procedures for the measurement of energy and water 
consumption.

* * * * *
    (cc) Furnace Fans. The energy efficiency of a residential furnace 
fan expressed in watts per1000 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) to 
the nearest integer shall be calculated in accordance with section 6 of 
appendix AA of this subpart.
    6. Appendix AA to subpart B of part 430 is added to read as 
follows:

Appendix AA to Subpart B of Part 430--Uniform Test Method for Measuring 
the Energy Efficiency of Residential Furnace Fans

    1. Scope. This appendix covers the test requirements used to 
measure the energy efficiency of residential furnace fans, including 
the energy use contributions of standby mode and off mode of 
residential furnace fans used in hydronic air handlers.
    2. Definitions, Units of Measure, and Symbols. Definitions, 
units of measure, and symbols include the definitions, units of 
measure, and symbols specified in section 3 of ANSI/AMCA 210-07 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  430.3) and the following 
additional and modified definitions, units of measure, and symbols:
    2.1. Active mode means any the mode of operation in which the 
HVAC product is connected to a power source and circulating air 
through duct work.
    2.2. Airflow-control setting means any distinct operating mode 
characterized by nominal fan speed or airflow that a furnace fan is 
programmed or wired to achieve when installed in accordance with 
manufacturer instructions and which is often designated for 
performing a specific HVAC function (e.g., cooling, heating, or 
constant-circulation).
    2.3. ANSI/AMCA 210-07 means the test standard published by ANSI/
AMCA 210-07 [bond] ANSI/ASHRAE 51-07 titled ``Laboratory Methods of 
Testing Fans for Certified Aerodynamic Performance Rating'' 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  430.3).
    2.4. Default airflow-control settings are the airflow-control 
settings that can be achieved in the factory-set control system 
configuration (i.e., without manual adjustment other than 
interaction with a user-operable control such as a thermostat).
    2.5. External static pressure means the difference between the 
total pressure at the air outlet and the total pressure at the air 
inlet less velocity pressure at the air outlet of an HVAC product 
containing a furnace fan when operating and installed in accordance 
with the manufacturer's instructions. External static pressure does 
not include the pressure drop across appurtenances internal to the 
HVAC product.
    2.6. Hydronic air handler means a furnace designed to supply 
heat through a system of ducts with air as the heating medium, in 
which heat is generated by hot water flowing through a hydronic 
heating coil and the heated air is circulated by means of a fan or 
blower.
    2.7. Off mode means the mode of operation during which the HVAC 
product is not powered.
    2.8. Residential furnace fan means an electrically-powered 
device used in residential central heating, ventilation, and air-
conditioning (HVAC) systems for the purpose of circulating air 
through duct work.
    2.9. Seasonal off switch means a switch on the HVAC product 
that, when activated, results in a measurable change in energy 
consumption between the standby and off modes.
    2.10. Standby mode means the mode during which the HVAC product 
is connected to the power source and the furnace fan is not 
activated.
    2.11. Symbols and subscripts. The following units of measure and 
symbols are provided in addition to those specified in section 3.2 
of ANSI/AMCA 210-07 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  430.3).

Ecirc = furnace fan electrical consumption at the default 
constant-circulation airflow-control setting operating point (or 
lowest default airflow-control setting operating point if a default 
constant-circulation airflow-control setting is not specified), in 
watts
Eheat--furnace fan electrical consumption in the default 
heat airflow-control setting for single-stage heating products or 
the default low-heat setting for multi-stage heating products, in 
watts
CH = annual furnace fan cooling hours
CCH = annual furnace fan constant-circulation hours
Emax--furnace fan electrical consumption at the maximum 
airflow-control setting operating point, in watts
EOFF = furnace fan electrical consumption in off mode, in 
watts
ESB = furnace fan electrical consumption in standby mode, 
in watts
ESP--external static pressure, in in.w.c.
FER--Fan efficiency rating for furnace fans used in HVAC products 
other than hydronic air handlers, in watts per 1000 cfm at specified 
operating points
HH = annual furnace fan heating hours
IFER--Integrated fan efficiency rating for furnace fans used in 
hydronic air handlers, in watts per 1000 cfm at specified operating 
points
Kref--physical descriptor characterizing the reference 
system
OH = annual furnace fan off mode operating hours
Qmax = airflow in the maximum airflow-control setting at 
the specified reference system ESP, in cfm
SBH = annual furnace fan standby mode operating hours
8760 = total annual hours

    3. Instruments and Methods of Measure. Instruments and methods 
of measure are as specified in section 4 of ANSI/AMCA 210-07 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  430.3), excluding those for 
mechanical measurement of fan input power and motor calibration 
(sections 4.4) and rotational speed (section 4.5). Instruments and 
methods of measure for active mode electrical power consumption are 
as specified in section 3.1 of this appendix.
    3.1. Measurement of electrical active mode power consumption.
    3.1.1. Electrical meter. An electrical meter shall have a 
certified accuracy of 1% of the observed reading.
    3.1.2. Voltage. Electrical power shall be supplied to the HVAC 
product in which the furnace fan is incorporated within 1% of the 
nameplate voltage for the duration of the test. If a dual voltage is 
used for nameplate voltage, maintain the electrical supply within 1% 
of the higher voltage.
    4. Test Setups and Equipment. Test setups and equipment are as 
specified in section 5 of ANSI/AMCA 210-07 (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  430.3). Furnace fans shall be tested as 
factory-installed in the HVAC product in which they are integrated.
    5. Observations and Conduct of Test. Observations and procedures 
for the conduct of test are as specified in section 6 of ANSI/AMCA 
210-07 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  430.3), except for test 
data to be recorded related to rotational speed, beam load, or 
torque as specified in Table 3 of ANSI/AMCA 210-07. Additional 
observations and procedures for the conduct

[[Page 28700]]

of test are as specified in section 5.1 of this appendix, which 
modifies section 6.1.1 of ANSI/AMCA 210-07. Observations and 
procedures for the conduct of test to measure standby mode and off 
mode energy consumption are as specified in section 5.2 of this 
appendix which modifies the methods specified in appendix N of 
subpart B of part 430 to be applicable to hydronic air handlers.
    5.1. Determinations. Determinations shall be made at: (1) 0.1 
in.w.c.; (2) an ESP equal to the applicable reference system ESP 
divided by 2; and (3) an ESP between the applicable reference system 
ESP and 0.1 in.w.c. above that reference system ESP. Determinations 
shall include measurements of input electrical power, external 
static pressure, and airflow.
    5.2. Measurement of electrical standby mode and off mode power 
for hydronic air handlers.
    5.2.1. Standby mode power measurement. With the hydronic air 
handler powered but with all electrical auxiliaries not activated, 
measure the standby mode power (ESB) in accordance with 
the procedures in IEC Standard 6230, Edition 2.0, 2011-01 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  430.3), except that section 
8.5, ``Room Ambient Temperature,'' of ASHRAE 103-1993 (incorporated 
by reference, see Sec.  430.3) and the voltage provision of section 
8.2.1.4, ``Electrical Supply,'' of ASHRAE 103--1993 shall apply in 
lieu of the corresponding provisions of IEC Standard 62301 at 
section 4.2, ``Test room,'' and the voltage specification of section 
4.3, ``Power supply.'' Frequency shall be 60Hz. Clarifying further, 
IEC Standard 62301 section 4.4, ``Power measurement instruments,'' 
and section 5, ``Measurements,'' shall apply in lieu of section 
6.10, ``Energy Flow Rate,'' of ASHRAE 103--1993. Measure the wattage 
so that all possible standby mode wattage for the entire appliance 
is recorded, not just the standby mode wattage of a single 
auxiliary. The recorded standby power (ESB) shall be 
rounded to the second decimal place, and for loads greater than or 
equal to 10W, at least three significant figures shall be reported.
    5.2.2. Off mode power measurement. If the unit is equipped with 
a seasonal off switch or there is an expected difference between off 
mode power and standby mode power, measure off mode power 
(EOFF) in accordance with applicable procedures in IEC 
Standard 62301, Edition 2.0, 2011-01 (incorporated by reference, see 
Sec.  430.3), except that section 8.5, ``Room Ambient Temperature,'' 
of ASHRAE 103--1993 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  430.3) and 
the voltage provision of section 8.2.1.4, ``Electrical Supply,'' of 
ASHRAE 103--1993 shall apply in lieu of the corresponding provisions 
of IEC Standard 62301 at section 4.2, ``Test room,'' and the voltage 
specification of section 4.3, ``Power supply.'' Frequency shall be 
60Hz. Clarifying further, IEC Standard 62301 section 4.4, ``Power 
measurement instruments,'' and section 5, ``Measurements,'' shall 
apply for this measurement in lieu of section 6.10, ``Energy Flow 
Rate,'' of ASHRAE 103--1993. Measure the wattage so that all 
possible off mode wattage for the entire appliance is recorded, not 
just the off mode wattage of a single auxiliary. The recorded off 
mode power shall be rounded to the second decimal place, and for 
loads greater than or equal to 10W, at least three significant 
figures shall be reported.
    6. Calculations. Calculations are as specified in section 7 of 
ANSI/AMCA 210-07 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  430.3), 
except for sections 7.7 and 7.8, and as specified in section 6.1, 
6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6 of this appendix, which are supplemental 
to ANSI/AMCA 210-07.
    6.1. Performance curve. A performance curve shall be determined 
for each rated airflow-control setting by fitting a quadratic curve 
to the three airflow and corresponding ESP measurements taken for 
the determinations associated with that respective airflow-control 
setting. The derived quadratic performance curves is to express 
airflow as a function of ESP in the following form:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.024

Where:

Qi = airflow in cfm for rating airflow-control setting i;
ESP = external static pressure in in.w.c.; and
ai,bi,ci = quadratic coefficients 
for rating airflow-control setting i.

    For products with single-stage heating, the rating airflow-control 
settings are the maximum setting, the default heating setting, and the 
default constant-circulation setting. For products with multi-stage 
heating or modulating heating, the rating airflow-control settings are 
the maximum setting, the default low-heating setting, and the default 
constant-circulation setting. For hydronic air handlers that are not 
designed to be paired with an evaporator coil, the rating airflow-
control settings are the default heating setting (expected to be the 
maximum airflow-control setting) and the default constant-circulation 
setting. The lowest default airflow-control setting is used to 
represent constant circulation if a constant-circulation setting is not 
specified.
    6.2. Electrical consumption curve. An electrical consumption curve 
shall be derived for each rated airflow-control setting by fitting a 
quadratic curve to the three electrical consumption measurements and 
corresponding ESP measurements taken for the determinations associated 
with that rating airflow-control setting. The derived quadratic 
electrical consumption curve is to express electrical consumption as a 
function of ESP in the following form:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.010

Where:

Ei = electrical consumption in watts for rating airflow-
control setting i;
ESP = external static pressure in in.w.c.; and
xi,yi,zi = quadratic coefficients 
for rating airflow-control setting i.

    6.3. Reference system curve. The reference system curve constant, 
Kref, shall be derived as follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.011

Where:

Kref = a constant that characterizes the reference 
system;
ESPref = 0.65 in.w.c. for furnace fans used in products 
designed to be paired with an external cooling coil; 0.5 in.w.c. for 
heating-only products or furnace fans used in products with an 
internal cooling coil; and 0.3 for manufactured home products

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.012

amax, bmax, cmax = quadratic 
coefficients of the maximum airflow-control setting performance 
curve, as derived in section 6.1 of this appendix

    6.4. Operating points. The operating point in the maximum airflow-
control setting is defined by the reference system criteria: 
ESPref and Qmax. The operating points for the 
default heat and default constant-circulation settings shall be 
determined by finding the intersections of the performance curves for 
these rating airflow-control settings (determined as described in 
section 6.1 of this appendix) and the reference system curve 
(ESP=Kref Q\2\).
    6.5. Electrical consumption. Electrical consumption at the 
operating points shall be derived by inputting the operating point ESPs 
identified, as specified in section 6.4 of this appendix, into the 
electrical consumption curve for each respective airflow-control 
setting, as derived in section 6.2 of this appendix.
    6.6. Fan efficiency rating (FER) and integrated fan efficiency 
rating (IFER). The fan efficiency rating shall be derived by using the 
following equations and the specified operating hour values in Table 1 
below.
    6.6.1. Heating-only Hydronic Air Handlers. For heating-only 
hydronic air handlers, the cooling mode annual

[[Page 28701]]

hours and energy consumption variable are eliminated, and the standby 
mode and off mode energy consumption is integrated with the active mode 
energy consumption. The IFER equation for heating-only hydronic air 
handlers is:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.013

Where:

IFERheating-only = fan efficiency rating in watts/1000 
cfm for hydronic air handlers not designed to be paired with an 
external cooling coil;
HH = annual furnace fan heating operating hours;
Eheat = electrical consumption at the default heat 
airflow-control setting (i.e., maximum setting for single-stage) 
operating point;
CCH = annual furnace fan constant-circulation hours;
Ecirc = electrical consumption at the default constant-
circulation airflow-control setting operating point (or lowest 
default airflow-control setting operating point if no default 
constant-circulation setting is specified);
SBH = annual furnace fan standby mode operating hours;
ESB = electrical consumption in standby mode;
OH = annual furnace fan off mode hours;
EOFF = electrical consumption in off mode;
Qmax = airflow in maximum airflow-control setting at 
reference system ESP; and
1000 = constant to put metric in terms of watts/1000 cfm.

    6.6.2. Hydronic Air Handlers Designed to be Paired with an 
Evaporator Coil. For hydronic air handlers designed to be paired with 
an evaporator coil, the variables for cooling mode consumption and 
operating hours are included, and standby mode and off mode energy 
consumption are integrated with the active mode energy consumption. The 
IFER equation for hydronic air handlers designed to be paired with an 
external cooling coil is:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.014

Where:

IFERhydronic = fan efficiency rating in watts/1000 cfm 
for hydronic air handlers designed to be paired with an evaporator 
coil;
CH = annual furnace fan cooling operating hours;
Emax = electrical consumption at maximum airflow-control 
setting operating point;
HH = annual furnace fan heating operating hours;
Eheat = electrical consumption at the default heating 
airflow-control setting operating point for units with single-stage 
heating or the default low-heating setting operating point for units 
with multi-stage or modulating heating;
CCH = annual furnace fan constant-circulation hours;
Ecirc = electrical consumption at the default constant-
circulation airflow-control setting operating point (or lowest 
default airflow-control setting operating point if a default 
constant-circulation airflow-control setting is not specified);
SBH = annual furnace fan standby mode operating hours;
ESB = electrical consumption in standby mode;
OH = annual furnace fan off mode hours;
EOFF = electrical consumption in off mode;
Qmax = airflow in the maximum airflow-control at the 
reference system ESP; and
1000 = constant to put metric in terms of watts/1000 cfm.

6.6.3. Non-hydronic Air Handler Products. For weatherized and non-
weatherized gas furnaces, oil furnaces, electric furnaces, and modular 
blowers, the standby mode and off mode energy consumption is excluded, 
and the FER equation is as follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15MY12.015

Where:

FER = fan efficiency rating in watts/1000 cfm for weatherized and 
non-weatherized gas furnaces, oil furnaces, electric furnaces, and 
modular blowers;
CH = annual furnace fan cooling operating hours;
Emax = electrical consumption in the maximum airflow-
control setting at the reference system ESP;
HH = annual furnace fan heating operating hours;
Eheat = electrical consumption at the default heating 
airflow-control setting operating point for units with single-stage 
heating or the default low-heating airflow-control setting operating 
point for units with multi-stage or modulating heating;
CCH = annual furnace fan constant-circulation hours;
Ecirc = electrical consumption at the default constant-
circulation airflow-control setting operating point (or lowest 
default airflow-control setting operating point if a default 
constant-circulation airflow-control setting is not specified);
Qmax = airflow on the maximum airflow-control setting at 
the reference system ESP; and
1000 = constant to put metric in terms of watts/1000 cfm.

    Table 1 includes the operating hour values to be used to calculate 
FER.

                         Table 1--Furnace Fan Annual Operating Hours for Calculating FER
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Operating mode                     Variable          Single-stage  (hours)     Multi-stage  (hours)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heating mode.........................  HH.....................  830....................  830/HCR.
Circulation mode.....................  CCH....................  400....................  400.
Cooling mode.........................  CH.....................  640....................  640.
Off mode (if applicable).............  OH.....................  0......................  0.

[[Page 28702]]

 
Standby mode (if applicable).........  SBH....................  8760-HH-CCH-CH-OH......  8760-HH-CCH-CH-OH.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Where:

HH = annual furnace fan heating operating hours;
HCR = heating capacity ratio (output capacity in lowest-heat mode 
divided by output capacity in highest-heat mode);
CCH = annual furnace fan constant-circulation operating hours;
CH = annual furnace fan cooling operating hours;
OH = annual furnace fan off mode operating hours; and
SBH = annual furnace fan standby mode operating hours.

    7. Report and results of test. Test results and information shall 
be reported as specified in section 8 of ANSI/AMCA 210-07 (incorporated 
by reference, see Sec.  430.3) and as specified in section 7.1 of this 
appendix.
    7.1. Additional report information. The following additional test 
results and calculated values shall be reported: (1) Fan efficiency 
rating (FER); (2) the airflow, ESP, and electrical consumption at each 
operating point, Kref; and (3) the quadratic coefficients 
for the performance curve and electrical consumption curves for each 
rated airflow-control setting.

[FR Doc. 2012-10993 Filed 5-14-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P