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A need for informed choices

Letter from Stephen Yurek, President and CEO, AHRI

| | Feb 20, 2011 | 4:31 am
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Dear Climate Control Middle East:

Steven YurekI am pleased to offer congratulations on the occasion of your fifth anniversary on behalf of the 300 member-companies that make up the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) of the United States. We share the common goal of increasing energy efficiency while maintaining and even increasing comfort in a way that is affordable and as environmentally benign as possible.

Many of our member-companies are very involved in the Middle East market and are excited about the opportunities that exist for high quality, energy-efficient cooling, and commercial refrigeration products. In just five years, Climate Control Middle East has become an invaluable source of information about energy efficiency and environmental issues facing the industry in an important region of the world.

AHRI is the trade association representing manufacturers of air conditioning, heating and commercial refrigeration equipment.  An internationally recognised advocate for the industry, AHRI develops standards for, and certifies the performance of, many of these products. AHRI’s 300 member-companies account for more than 90% of the residential and commercial air conditioning, space heating, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment manufactured and sold in North America. We also have an increasing global presence, particularly in the areas of industry performance standards and performance-certification programmes.

Sustainability and Green have become the watchwords of the day, owing to the twin challenges of global climate change, and energy supply and use. Concerns about energy use and environmental stewardship have driven a movement, both in the Middle East and around the world, towards ensuring sustainability through good building practices and care in selecting and installing building components and systems that work together as a unified, energy-efficient system. The new UAE energy efficiency standards are a good indication of how seriously curbing energy use is now being taken in the Middle East.

In an atmosphere where efficiency and environmental stewardship are prized, equipment choices need to be informed ones – those that rest on accepted and respected performance data, and are credible to architects, specifiers, engineers, building owners – and an increasing number of government regulators.

But how can you be sure the manufacturers’ performance data are accurate and credible? The answer is quite simple: performance certification. It is one indispensible tool that those responsible for residential and commercial space heating and cooling, commercial refrigeration, and residential and commercial water heating need to meet their responsibilities towards sustainably.

Ultimately, two very important tools – industry standards and product performance certification programmes – enable improved quality of life by contributing to more efficient and effective indoor comfort, water heating and refrigeration. Regulators, policy makers and equipment purchasers understand this, and increasingly rely on credible third parties to verify HVACR and water heater manufacturers’ performance claims.

The first tool – standard test methods and testing and rating procedures – is integral to verifying claimed equipment performance. It is important that the standards used are those best suited for the purpose, regardless of brand, that stimulate innovation, and are stepping stones to improving and driving energy efficiency and product performance.

The second important tool is third-party, industry-driven performance certification. Certification is one of several approaches in conformity assessment used to verify if a resulting product, does in fact, comply with claimed design or performance criteria in a way which is technically defensible and credible to engineers, contractors, building owners, specifiers, end-users of such equipment and governments. Successful programmes, such as AHRI’s century-old programme, have the characteristics and principles to meet the demands of sustainability.

I again offer you congratulations on your fifth anniversary. AHRI and our members stand ready to join you in a partnership of research, innovation, production, and performance, as we work together towards achieving our common goals of energy efficiency, performance verification, economic sustainability, and environmental stewardship.


Stephen Yurek
President and CEO, AHRI

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