The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute has introduced a certification program for commercial refrigerated display merchandisers and storage cabinets.

The new operation joins 25 other ARI-administered certification programs that use the “ARI Performance Certified” mark for equipment. ARI’s certification programs are voluntary and open to domestic and international manufacturers.

“The goal of the certification program is to provide a common method for evaluating the performance of commercial refrigerators to give consumers confidence in the equipment they purchase,” said Bruce Hierlmeier, chairman of ARI’s commercial refrigeration manufacturers’ product section. “In addition to providing performance assurance, the certification program will be relied upon by manufacturers to provide independent verification that their products meet regulatory requirements in the United States and Canada.”

Products listed under the program include self-contained refrigerated cabinets designed for commercial displaying, storing or dispensing perishable products. Certification of remote-condensing models will start in 2008. Specifically excluded from the program are components or products included in other ARI product sections.

The equipment under this program is tested in accordance with ARI standards. To perform the testing, ARI uses two independent laboratories, Intertek and Underwriters Laboratories.

The use of the ARI Performance Certified mark is only granted to products that meet or exceed the manufacturer’s published performance ratings through ARI’s independent, annual testing of the product. To verify that a particular product has earned the ARI Performance Certified mark, consumers can access ARI’s online directory of certified product performance