Public comment

Last call for comments on residential AC standard

The draft standard AS/NZS5141 for residential air conditioning is now open for a final round of public comment.

Its official name is AS/NZS 5141 Residential heating and cooling systems – Minimum applications and requirements for energy efficiency, performance and comfort criteria. Slated for publication in December, it is a new standard that aims to raise the bar in the residential HVAC sector.

“Although the commercial space is well covered by standards, there is no equivalent for Australia’s residential market,” says Beau Logue from Wood & Grieve Engineers, who is part of the technical committee. He says that AS/NZS5141 aims to address some key issues in this space.

“First, there should be less variance in what is offered to consumers, because the standard outlines how to size a system,” he says.

“AS/NZS5141 also requires heat load assessments to be completed and given to the customer. This will make it difficult for the showroom salesperson to size a system without details of the house. AIRAH’s Fair Air will be a valuable tool for this process.”

The standard outlines good practice installation methods, generally referring to other Australian Standards.

Finally, AS/NZS5141 outlines the customer handover process. This includes handing over manuals, instructions and details of the unit efficiency and sizing.

The standard is the result of several years of sustained work from manufacturers, installers and industry bodies to establish easy-to-use guidelines for the residential market. Accordingly, it has been kept short, at less than 20 pages.

“We want to encourage the industry to use the standard,” says Logue. “It’s not compulsory but rather a voluntary ‘good guide’; we are relying on operators to adopt it, so we have tried to make it as user-friendly as possible.”

AS/NZS5141 has already been through one round of public comment. The public now has one more chance to review the standard. Comments may be submitted until September 3.

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