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The difference between ‘rated’ and ‘certified’ equipment

There have been very few instances of outright fraud with respect to the AHRI certification mark, says Henry Hwong, Senior Vice President for Global Services, who adds that such instances are, in part, due to the ease of verifying the certification status of any AHRI-certified equipment in real time through the AHRI Directory of Certified […]

| | Aug 17, 2020 | 1:10 pm
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Henry Hwong

There have been very few instances of outright fraud with respect to the AHRI certification mark, says Henry Hwong, Senior Vice President for Global Services, who adds that such instances are, in part, due to the ease of verifying the certification status of any AHRI-certified equipment in real time through the AHRI Directory of Certified Product Performance. However, Hwong says that misrepresentation can still take many forms and that the more common issue is ‘rated’ versus ‘certified’ products. “Any manufacturer can claim that its equipment is ‘rated’ to a certain standard – and to the uninitiated that seems good,” he explains. “But, unless the equipment is tested by an independent, third-party laboratory, the end-user cannot be assured of its compliance with energy-efficiency claims.”

Hwong points out that in view of the significant financial investments often associated with HVACR and water heating products and equipment, the stakes are high to properly identify and verify a product’s performance at its application condition. “For many heating and water heating products, there is a safety issue that must be addressed because of the presence of combustible materials,” he says, adding that even for products and equipment that do not use combustible materials, third-party laboratory testing ensures compliance with safety codes as well as claimed efficiency levels. “For the former, the danger in installing and using an uncertified product could be injury or even death while for the latter it has led to increasing costs and energy use, frustrating homeowners, building owners, and regulators and other government officials alike,” he says. “Without the assurance of certified performance, stakeholders are likely to fall short of their energy-efficiency goals.”

Hwong says this was a big reason behind AHRI’s decision to strengthen its presence in the Middle East and North Africa region, as part of its efforts to ensure that engineers, specifiers, building owners and regulators are aware of the need to confirm that energy-efficiency claims are backed by real testing and real data. “Otherwise, efficiency targets will be much more difficult to achieve,” he says, pointing out that safeguarding the integrity of the AHRI mark is not only crucial to the company’s success but also to the success of energy-efficiency programs in the region. “One of the aims of AHRI’s new Dubai office is to ensure that engineers, specifiers, building owners and regulators are aware of, and able to use, our AHRI Directory of Certified Product Performance,” he says. “Any doubt that a piece of equipment or a covered component is not legitimately certified can easily be dispelled, or confirmed, by accessing that database. He adds that the Directory has a “help” function to ensure ease of use and that there are plans to establish a certification hotline that will address all certification questions for all stakeholders.


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