HVAC assessment handbook

A practical guide to performance measurements in mechanical heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems


Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) relates to systems that perform processes

designed to regulate the air conditions within buildings for the comfort and safety of occupants or

for commercial and industrial processes or for storage of goods. HVAC systems condition and

move air to desired areas of an indoor environment to create and maintain desirable

temperature, humidity, ventilation and air purity.

Depending on geographic location and building construction, various types of interior climate

control systems help ensure that interior spaces are maintained at comfortable levels year-round.

With today’s energy conservation concerns, buildings are constructed to be much tighter,

reducing the level of natural exchange between indoor and outdoor air. As a result, more and

more buildings rely on mechanical conditioning and distribution systems for managing air.

A properly operated HVAC system finds the often-delicate balance between optimizing occupant

comfort while controlling operating costs. Comfort is an important issue for occupant satisfaction,

which can directly affect concentration and productivity. At the same time, controlling these

comfort and health parameters directly affects HVAC system operating costs in terms of energy,

maintenance and equipment life.

This handbook is not intended to be a comprehensive guide for all possible issues associated with

HVAC system operation and maintenance. There are volumes on the subject. Rather, it highlights

some measurements and techniques that can be used to evaluate HVAC systems for optimum


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