Single Package Vertical Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps


Single package vertical air conditioners and heat pumps (SPVUs) are commonly used in modular classrooms, office buildings and telecommunications shelters housing electronic equipment. This equipment can be mounted to an external building wall, installed indoors but adjacent to an exterior wall (usually inside cabinets), or mounted through the wall. 

SPVUs are a category of ASHRAE equipment. 


The current standards for SPVUs took effect in 2019. The minimum cooling efficiencies are 11.0 energy efficiency ratio (EER) for units with cooling capacities less than 65,000 Btu/h (which are the most common) and 10.0 EER for larger units. The minimum heating efficiencies for heat pumps are 3.3 coefficient of performance (COP) for units <65,000 Btu/h and 3.0 COP for larger units. 

In 2022, DOE proposed not to amend the standards for SPVUs, but translated the existing EER standard levels to the new cooling efficiency metric, IEER. 

*The current cooling energy efficiency metric, energy efficiency ratio (EER), is expressed as the cooling capacity (Btu/hr) divided by the power input (watts). The heating energy efficiency metric, coefficient of performance (COP), is expressed as the heat delivered (Btu) divided by the energy input (Btu). The updated cooling energy efficiency metric, integrated energy efficiency ratio (IEER), is a weighted calculation of mechanical cooling efficiencies at full load and part-load conditions expressed in (Btu/h)/W.


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.