The federal government’s EISA (Energy Independence & Security Act) standards went into effect Jan. 1st, 2009. This act was intended to improve energy efficiency within the refrigeration industry as well as many other industries. AHRI reports there have been some concerns since there are no enforcement mechanism or standard testing methods built into the act; non-compliant walk-in manufacturers will stand to benefit. These manufacturers will be able to beat compliant competitors on price (due to the lower input costs of their non-regulation walk-ins). Be sure that when buying a walk-in, you check to make sure they are EISA compliant.
The AHRI (Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute) is trying to raise awareness about what this act mandates among distributors, installers, and consumers. They have created a checklist of the standards walk-in coolers & freezers are required to meet that can be found at ACHR The News. Use this checklist to ensure the walk-in unit you are about to purchase meets the EISA standards.
• Automatic door closers that firmly close all walk-in doors if they are within 1 inch of the closed position. This requirement does not apply to doors wider than 3 feet 9 inches or taller than 7 feet.
• Strip doors, spring-hinged doors, or other measures to minimize air infiltration when doors are open.
• Lighting with an efficiency of 40 lumens per watt or more, including ballast losses or occupancy sensors that turn lights off within 15 minutes if the walk-in is unoccupied.
• Insulation of walls, ceiling and doors of at least R-25 for coolers and R-32 for freezers.
• Floor insulation of at least R-28 for freezers.
• For evaporator fan motors under 1 horsepower (hp) and less than 460 V, use either electronically commutated motors (brushless direct current motors) or three-phase motors.
• For condenser fan motors under 1 hp, use either electronically commutated motors, permanent split capacitor-type motors, or three-phase motors.
• For coolers, use double-pane with heat-reflective treated glass and gas fill or triple-pane with either heat-reflective treated glass or gas fill.
• For freezers, use triple-pane with either heat-reflective treated glass or gas fill.
ANTI-SWEAT HEATER ON TRANSPARENT REACH-IN DOORS
• Walk-ins with anti-sweat heaters on transparent reach-in doors, but without anti-sweat heat controls, must have a total door rail, glass and frame heater power draw of no more than 7.1 watts per square foot of door opening for freezers and 3.0 watts per square foot of door opening for coolers.
• Anti-sweat heat controls on walk-ins with anti-sweat heaters on transparent reach-in doors and a total door rail, glass and frame heater power draw of more than 7.1 watts per square foot of door opening for freezers, and 3.0 watts per square foot of door opening for coolers must reduce the unit’s energy use in an amount corresponding to the rh in the air outside the door or to the condensation on the inner glass pane.
U.S. Cooler is fully compliant with the 2009 EISA requirements.
“A final rule is expected to be adopted in January 2012 that will establish a performance-based standard.”¹