HVAC Building Codes For Code Officials

HVAC Codes for Code Officials

ACCA Support for Code Officials

The purpose of building codes are to guide government agencies in meeting their minimum obligations to protect the general welfare of the population they serve. Codes are designed to prevent damage to property, as well as injury or death to persons, and these objectives are accomplished by applying accumulated knowledge to the avoidance, reduction, or elimination of definable hazards.

NFPA Issues TIA to Exempt Outdoor HVAC Equipment from GFCI Protection in the 2020 NEC

On August 12, 2022, the NFPA Standards Council issued a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) to the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC). The TIA became effective September 1, 2022.The new TIA adds Exception No. 2 to 210.8(F) and states that “ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection shall not be required for listed HVAC equipment. This exception shall expire September I, 2026.” Many states have already deleted or delayed 210.8(F) in their adoption of the 2020 NEC. This is due to widespread reports of nuisance trips because of the electrical incompatibility between Class A GFCI devices and outdoor HVAC equipment. The industry is already conducting research to determine the cause of the tripping and determine technical solutions for the applicable standards.

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Residential System Design Review Form for Code Offices

ACCA provides a “review form” (that may be customized by code officials for the relevant ICC and IAPMO codes) that can serve as the cover page to a contractor’s permit submission.  Blank forms as well as completed examples and instructions to contractors can be found here.

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Brochures for Code Officials

ACCA has developed several brochures which help code officials verify residential load calculations, duct design and equipment selection in accordance with Manuals J, D, and S. While it’s not practical for code officials to verify every single aspect of these submissions, these brochures offer checklists for a simplified verification process.

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Load Calculation Software

An important warning notice for code officials about the dangers of inappropriate load calculation software.

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ICC PMG Membership Council

Visit the International Code Council's (ICC) Plumbing Mechanical Gas (PMG) Membership Council webpage for other resources like CodeNotes, High School Technical Training Program Toolkit, and technical partners information.

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Bob's HouseBob's House

Bob's House - A case study for understanding the residential HVAC design process as described in the ACCA residential technical manuals. The book begins with the building plans and follows the process through the completion of the system design. Also included are useful appendices that explore what would happen to Bob's house if he were in a different city, or if his builder had used different building materials , as well as the impact of other possible scenarios and other possible variations. Other appendices discuss different equipment types, duct challenges, and an illustrative example of how information might be presented for a permit application.

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» Codes & Standards Resources

Video Training for Code Officials

ACCA has developed a three-part video series that aims to help code officials better understand the three main aspects of a proper residential HVAC system design: a load calculation, selecting the appropriate equipment, and proper duct sizing. The basis for the videos are the code-referenced ACCA Manual J, Manual S, and Manual D. The videos do not comprise a design course, but instead provide an overview of the design process and presents ACCA-recommended verification points. This will better enable code officials to verify that a system was designed correctly.

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