ASHRAE introduces Standard 152, which provides a test method for determining design and seasonal efficiencies of residential thermal distribution systems.

ATLANTA - The energy efficiency of different residential HVAC systems can now be evaluated using a standard method, according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

ASHRAE Standard 152, "Method of Test for Determining the Design and Seasonal Efficiencies of Residential Thermal Distribution Systems," is designed to evaluate energy inefficiencies and estimate energy savings, as well as aid in sizing equipment. Mark Modera, chairman of the Standard 152 committee, explained that the standard can be used both during the design process as well as for retrofit projects.

He also said that the standard allows direct comparisons of distribution-system alternatives for residences, including comparisons for hydronic and air systems, as well as comparisons of air systems with different levels of duct leakage and insulation.

Users provide a listing of all input data and their sources, indicating how the input parameters were determined. Based on those inputs, the standard allows the thermal distribution system efficiency to be determined for heating and cooling under seasonal conditions (for energy consumption estimates) and heating and cooling under design conditions (for system sizing).