The DOE has taken action against Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based heating and cooling distributor Air-Con International, requiring the company to stop selling air conditioning systems that violate minimum energy efficiency appliance standards.

The department found that the company imported and distributed nearly 2,000 residential air conditioning units rated at 10 SEER, while federal standards require a minimum 13-SEER rating. They were sold to homeowners, distributors, and other retailers, according to a DOE spokesperson. Two models are covered by the action: ACN-09/12/18/24-GCH and ACN-MTS-09CO/12CO/09EV/12EV.

The agency has proposed a civil penalty of more than $230,000 for importing and distributing these inefficient cooling products, part of its continued commitment to act aggressively to remove unlawful products from the market, according to a statement. To date, nearly 70 different non-compliant products have been removed from commerce since 2009.

The Sept. 23 notice proposes the maximum penalty for selling non-compliant products and requires Air-Con to immediately cease further U.S. sales and provide written notification to customers who purchased these units.