Single Package Vertical Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps


Single package vertical air conditioners and heat pumps (SPVUs) are self-contained commercial cooling and heating equipment with their main components arranged vertically. They are used in modular classrooms and office buildings, telecom shelters, and hotels, and  are mounted on or through an outside wall.


Prior to 2010, SPVUs fell under the broader DOE category of commercial air conditioners and heat pumps. The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 established a new product category and separate standards for SPVUs. The standards are equivalent to those in the commercial building energy code ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) 90.1-2004.

In September 2015, DOE published new minimum efficiency levels for SPVUs that will take effect in 2019.

The SPVU standards vary by cooling capacity. Cooling capacity represents the amount of heat that an air conditioner or heat pump can remove from an enclosed space per hour. The cooling efficiency for SPVUs is measured by energy efficiency ratio (EER), which is the cooling capacity (in Btu/hr) divided by the power input (in watts). The heating efficiency is measured by the coefficient of performance (COP), which is the heat delivered (in Btu) divided by the energy input (in Btu).


Technology options for improving the efficiency of SPVUs include higher efficiency compressors and fan motors and improved heat exchangers.

Projected Savings

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Federal Date States
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2026
Updated DOE Standard Due 2023
2nd Federal Standard Effective 2019
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2018
2nd Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2015
Updated DOE Standard Due 2015
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2013
1st Federal Standard Effective 2010
1st Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2008
EPACT Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 1992

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.