Single Package Vertical Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps


Single package vertical air conditioners and heat pumps (SPVUs) are commonly used in modular classrooms and office buildings and telecommunications shelters housing electronic equipment. They are installed on external building walls. 


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 2004 version of ASHRAE 90.1, which is a commercial building energy code.

In 2015, DOE finalized new standards for SPVUs that took effect in 2019. The standards for the most common types of SPVUs (those with cooling capacities less than 65,000 Btu/h) are more stringent than the levels in the 2013 version of ASHRAE 90.1

The cooling efficiency of 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 of single package vertical heat pumps 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.

Savings through what year?: 2048
Energy saved (quads): 0.15
CO2 savings (million metric tons): 8.9
Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate: $0.38
Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate: $0.11


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.