Whether you operate heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) products as part of your job, or you have appliances at home, there are a number of advantages to using certified HVAC&R products. In this article we are going to focus on the true value of certification for operators and end users, from the benefits of using products with proven energy efficiency, to the peace of mind that your system complies with regulations, standards and codes.
To sell HVAC&R products, manufacturers have to meet minimum standards and ensure products comply with any regulations or codes. While these standards may differ from country to country, or region to region, it is normally down to the manufacturer (or distributor if a product is imported) to prove compliance. This compliance testing can be done in-house by the manufacturer or outsourced to a third-party. Compliance testing is essentially self-regulated. Not every manufacturer will go through exactly the same process or use the same test equipment. Differences in testing protocols, calibrations and bias when testing can lead to variations in the stated and real performance of a product – even if completely unintentional.
Certification goes several steps further by testing and evaluating a number of product characteristics. Certification not only ensures products comply with all the relevant regulations and standards, but also verifies manufacturer data on product performance.
The value in third-party certification, as opposed to in-house testing by the manufacturer alone, is that certification is offered by a completely independent and impartial expert body, with no bias towards the product or manufacturer. Certification finds the truth of a product and provides transparent product data, ensuring that products will perform as advertised.
However, not all certifiers or certification schemes are equal. HVAC&R manufacturers can choose from a range of programmes, delivered by laboratories or certification bodies like Eurovent Certita Certification (ECC), so it’s always wise to understand what each offers, and the added value each certification mark brings.
At the heart of certification lies the reduction of risk and the building of trust between industry stakeholders. Third-party certification removes the risk of variations between stated and real product performance, with independently verified data. This builds trust, as professionals and end users alike can rely on the stated product performance. This is key as it safeguards from the risk of ineffective or inefficient systems, spiralling running costs, or non-compliance with regulations.
However, this trust can only be built by providing quality certification schemes, from reliable and respected providers. Eurovent Certita Certification has therefore created a number of world renowned certification programmes, under a common set of criteria for the rating of products. All manufacturers are treated equally, with all units going through exactly the same route and process to certification, wherever in the world they are manufactured.
ECCs programmes are constantly evolving to keep pace with new technology, refrigerants and regulations. Products are tested over and above the criteria needed to reach European Standards, which are some of the most stringent Standards in the world, and certification acts as a tool for both quality control and product development, with manufacturers using feedback to improve and innovate products.
Firstly, Eurovent certified products have to pass a number of checkpoints to receive certification, which is far in excess of laboratory or in-house testing. Secondly, these checkpoints are all undertaken impartially, with no manufacturer interference. Thirdly, certification is a continuous process, which ensures products continue to comply with certification criteria.
Eurovent Certita Certification uses state of the art evaluation protocols including:
ECC keeps evaluation protocols uniform across all products, countries and continents to ensure the certification process is fair and equal for manufacturers. Eurovent Certita Certification:
Impartiality standards are kept high as manufacturers and laboratories have no direct contact, keeping the process clear of any bias. Additionally products to be tested can be taken from the production line, factory stock or point of sale, ensuring the product tested is exactly the same as those leaving the production line.
Certification is more than just a logo, Eurovent Certified products are trusted worldwide. For operators and end users the benefits of using certified products include:
And when it’s time to replace your product or system, choosing certified models can:
Any manufacturer who has gained certification, has not only gone through a rigorous and stringent process, but has also gone above and beyond to prove the performance and reliability of their products. This doesn’t come without risk. Not just financially through the cost, resources and time certification takes, but also because the consequences of failure can be substantial. Campaign failure rates are monitored for each certification participant. New participants must pass all the tests to be certified.
For current participants, underperformance can lead to additional product sampling, or certificate suspension. If a certified product fails to meet test requirements, the participant is required to adjust the performances not only for the specific product but also for all similar products, or to withdraw the relevant products from the market.
The bottom line is that if a product isn’t certified, you should always ask why.
Eurovent certification is the gold standard when it comes to the HVAC&R market. Firstly, ECC is a long established certification company, and has been certifying products since 1994. Secondly, ECC certify a wide range of certification marks including the flagship Eurovent Certified Performance mark, the NF mark, QB mark, Keymark, CE Trade Mark and MCS for Heat Pumps. Thirdly, ECC are a global certification body. From Australia to Asia, Europe to the Middle East, we certify HVAC&R products to ensure they perform as expected.
One of the key reasons you should choose ECC is that our processes are tested to the most stringent standards too. ECC is accredited as a certification body compliant with ISO/IEC 17065:2012 standard by COFRAC (Accreditation Nb 5-5017). Not only is the accreditation recognised throughout Europe by the EA, the European co-operation for Accreditation, but it is also recognised internationally by the signatories of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) . To ensure consistent compliance, COFRAC accreditation is a continuous process, with evaluations every 15 months across a five year accreditation period.
Eurovent certification enables everyone to make informed decisions about energy efficient HVAC&R products. Our easy to use online directory allows you to search products by family, type, brand, model name or certificate number. You can also directly compare certified products and download product information.