NORTHBROOK, Ill. - Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) has opened a new 16,000-square-foot state-of-the-art testing facility in the metro-Dallas area dedicated to energy efficiency testing of heat pumps, air conditioning equipment, and electrically-operated vapor compression refrigeration systems. The new energy efficiency test lab is designed to help HVACR manufacturers in their efforts to develop more energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment.

According to UL, residential and commercial heating and cooling equipment accounts for up to half of a typical building's energy consumption. In recent years, HVACR equipment manufacturers have come under increased federal pressure to meet minimum energy efficiency standards. For example, new residential air conditioners manufactured after Jan. 23 must meet a seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of 13 or higher. SEER is calculated based on the total amount of cooling (Btu) the system will provide over the entire season divided by the total number of watt-hours it will consume. These mandates have forced many manufacturers to focus more resources on their research and development efforts.

"This new facility will greatly benefit our HVACR customers looking to gain compliance to federal mandates and Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) standards as well as those looking for help with their research and development efforts," said John Byrne, UL's vice president and general manager for consumer products. "Though our service is new to the industry, our staff is not. Our engineers have a wealth of experience in HVACR energy efficiency testing and can help our customers reach their specific energy efficiency goals."

UL's HVACR Energy Efficiency Testing Facility is a full-service test laboratory offering integrated safety certification, prototype testing, benchmark testing, component compatibility evaluations, and more.

For additional information on UL's HVACR Energy Efficiency program, contact Doug Lockard at 614-777-1837 or e-mail The test lab is located at 2805 East Plano Parkway, Suite 200, Plano, TX 75074, phone: 469-467-7888. For additional information about UL's HVACR services, visit

Publication date: 01/30/2006