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An Introduction to Commonly Referenced HVAC Standards

Updated on January 9, 2018
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.


The industry standards HVAC equipment makers and installers need to meet differ based on the type of equipment. Separate HVAC standards apply to the manufacturing and installation of HVAC equipment than other types of equipment. What are the major HVAC industry standards?

ASTM Standards for HVAC Equipment

ASTM F856 describes the mechanical systems used for shipboard HVAC systems. ASTM F856 has been adopted by both ANSI and the Department of Defense.

ASTM F1005 gives the standard HVAC duct shapes. ASTM F1005 is ANSI approved.

ASTM E2816 outlines the method of testing fire resistive metallic HVAC ducts.

ASTM C1668 gives the specification for externally applied reflective insulation used on rigid duct insulation. The reflective insulation repels sunlight that would otherwise heat chilled air inside of the duct-work.

ASTM F2934 is the standard for circular metallic bellow expansion joints used in HVAC piping.

HVAC standards are intended to ensure that equipment works when demand is greatest.
HVAC standards are intended to ensure that equipment works when demand is greatest.

ASHRAE Standards for HVAC Equipment

ASHRAE is the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers. ASHRAE has issued a number of standards for the design, maintenance and inspection of HVAC equipment.

ASHRAE has created several standards for the development and implementation of knowledge based expert systems for the conceptual design of HVAC systems. These systems are called HVAC-KBCD. ASHRAE 4691 is the general framework for using HVAC-KBCD. ASHRAE 4692 and 4693 address the application of HVAC-KBCD to the design of HVAC systems in office buildings.

ASHRAE 151 lists the approved methods of measuring, testing and adjusting of shipboard heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. ASHRAE 151 is ANSI approved.
ASHRAE 180 gives the standard practices for both inspecting and maintaining commercial HVAC systems.

ASHRAE 120 gives the ANSI approved method of determining the flow resistance in HVAC ducts and duct fittings. ASHRAE 193 is the test method for determining how airtight HVAC equipment is.

ASHRAE 90412 is the HVAC design manual for medical facilities like hospitals. ASHRAE 90414 is the design guide for tall commercial buildings like skyscrapers.

ASHRAE 94607 lists the sequences of operation for commonly used HVAC systems. ASHRAE 90339 gives guidance on controlling noise and vibration in HVAC systems.
ASHRAE LO-09-050 gives the command data definitions for HVAC industry applications. These common data definitions are used by software that controls HVAC systems.
ASHRAE 126 is the ANSI approved method of testing HVAC air ducts and their fittings. Seismic restraint devices hold objects in place during an earthquake. ASHRAE 171 is the standard method for testing seismic restraint devices used with HVAC equipment.

ASHRAE application IP CH 43 is the ASHRAE recommended standard for the commissioning of HVAC systems. Commissioning of the system includes the building envelope, electrical systems, life safety features, irrigation and plumbing systems that support the HVAC system. Factors to consider during the commissioning process include cost of installation, air quality, repair costs, life safety risks like smoke control and mission critical features like emergency power and infection control.

ASHRAE Guideline 1.1 gives the technical requirements for the commissioning process.

ASHRAE Guideline 11 addresses the field testing of HVAC control components. ASHRAE guideline 20 gives ASHRAE's recommended practices for documenting HVAC work processes.

SMACNA standards only apply to air conditioning and heating system ducts made from sheet metal.
SMACNA standards only apply to air conditioning and heating system ducts made from sheet metal. | Source

SMACNA Standards for HVAC Equipment

The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association or SMACNA issued standard SMACNA 1429. First published in 1994, it gives the SMACNA's recommendations on the design of HVAC systems.

SMACNA 1858 addresses the control of noise and vibration in HVAC system design. SMACNA 1958 is the standard for HVAC duct design. SMACNA 1987 is a guide for inspecting HVAC ductwork.

SMACNA 1966 is an ANSI approved standard for the construction of flexible metal HVAC ducts.

Air Conditioning Contractors of America Standards

The ACCA is the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. The ACCA has issued a number of standards for HVAC equipment, including heating and air conditioning system design and maintenance.

ACCA 96 is the ACCA HVAC service procedures handbook. ACCA 97 gives the procedures for installing HVAC equipment. ACCA 98 gives the procedures for maintaining HVAC equipment. ACCA 604 gives the standard equations, data and rules of thumb for HVAC equipment. ACCA Manual SPS gives the recommendations for designing HVAC equipment used with pools and spas such as pool heaters.

ACCA 818 is the standard for geothermal HVAC systems. Geothermal HVAC systems run water through the ground to maintain a building at a comfortable temperature. The ground will typically remain at an average temperature between summer highs and winter lows. Water flowing through pipes buried in the ground will cool in the summer to this temperature, offering an eco-friendly method of cooling buildings. In the winter, the water will warm to the average temperature. The building may need to be further warmed by heaters, but the power requirements will be lower than if only electric heat were used.

ACCA 586 is the HVAC quality installation specification. This standard is shared with ANSI as ANSI/ACCA 5 QI-2010. ACCA 698 gives the quality installation verification protocols, but this standard is not shared with ANSI.

ISO HVAC Standards

ISO 10263 part 4 is the method of testing the performance of HVAC equipment used in the cab of earth moving machinery. ISO 14505-2 is the ergonomic standard for evaluating the environment inside of vehicles.

ISO 16813 is the general set of principles for designing the interior of buildings. This standard encompasses sustainable building design factors including temperature control, noise levels and energy efficiency.

Related Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Standards

UFGS-23 09 23.13 20 is the standard for the direct digital control system for HVAC equipment using BACnet data communication protocol.

ASABE S613-2 sets the design standards for the air quality systems used in HVAC systems installed in the cabs of farm machinery. ASABE S613-2 is ANSI approved.

Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute or AHRI standard 220 is the testing procedure for determining the sound power of HVAC equipment.

Federal Standards for HVAC Equipment

VA 23 07 11 is a standard by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs regarding the installation of HVAC equipment and boilers. VA 23 31 00 is the VA's standard on HVAC ducts. VA 23 05 93 applies to the testing, adjusting and balancing of HVAC systems. FED H-08-1 SEC 15704 describes the use of HVAC systems in water treatment systems.

UFGS-23 08 00.00 10 is the U.S. Army standard for the commissioning of HVAC systems. This standard was published in 2008. For most military specifications for heating and air conditioning systems, industry standards like ANSI, ACCA and ASHRAE standards are called out.


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