AIRAH Best Practice Guidelines

As part of our mission to create an Australian HVAC&R industry that is highly skilled and professional, safe, sustainable, and environmentally effective, AIRAH produces and maintains technical resources and best practice guidelines to assist the industry.

On this page, you’ll find information and access links to these guidelines, including information on residential air conditioning; HVAC hygiene; flammable refrigerants; water efficiency; and more.

AIRAH Best Practice Guideline: Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Management

This guideline highlights commonly encountered accessibility issues – often inhibiting inspection and cleaning.

Maintenance contractors and other health and safety assessors regularly relate the horror stories of kitchen exhaust systems that have either been installed incorrectly or have been compromised since installation. This includes systems that do not comply with minimum safety standards and those that cannot – or have not – been maintained, resulting in years of grease accumulation and high fire and health risk.

This resource has been prepared by AIRAH’s Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Special Technical Group (STG). It is a must-read for anyone involved in the selection, installation, commissioning, certification, operation, or maintenance of commercial kitchen exhaust systems. For more information on the STG and this resource, please visit this page.

Published: 2022 | Pages: 40


AIRAH Resilience Checklist

AIRAH Resilience Checklist

This document is one of a series of documents prepared to assist building designers, mechanical engineering designers, equipment manufacturers, installers, facilities managers, maintenance engineers, and service providers with improving the resilience of their buildings and assets.

This checklist – prepared by AIRAH's Resilience Special Technical Group – seeks to set down knowledge of current practice regarding the resilience of HVAC&R systems and components. The document will also be of use to all those engaged in the energy-efficient planning, design, construction, operation, servicing and management of buildings and HVAC&R systems.

Published: 2021 | Pages: 51


AIRAH Best Practice Guideline: HVAC hygiene

This resource establishes the criteria for evaluating the internal cleanliness of HVAC system components and clearly determines when cleaning is required, according to the building use.

It describes the components of HVAC systems to be evaluated, the types of contamination likely to be encountered, and includes for post-fire and flood damage assessments. Minimum inspection frequencies for various HVAC systems and components are specified for scheduled maintenance programs.

The Guideline also provides test methods that can be used to verify that a clean system hygiene level has been achieved following a system cleaning or restoration project. It includes recommendations for creating new access openings within HVAC systems where they are required to facilitate the inspection and cleaning of the internal surfaces of system ductwork and components.

This resource does not include hygiene inspections or recommendations for either cooking (kitchen hood exhaust) or hazardous (i.e. laboratory, fume cupboard) exhaust systems. It does not provide instructions on how to clean or restore HVAC systems, but it does provide some guidelines on the management of cleaning and restoration projects.

Published: 2018 | Pages: 37


Please note: The HVAC Hygiene Best Practice Guideline is currently available exclusively as a hard copy order. It is under review by AIRAH’s Indoor Air Quality STG, with the new edition expected for release in early 2022. This updated edition will be made available in both hard copy and digital formats.

AIRAH Best Practice Guidelines: Residential air conditioning

AIRAH Best Practice Guideline: Residential air conditioning

These documents have been specifically prepared for each Australian state/territory and set out industry best practice guidelines for the selection, installation, and maintenance of residential air conditioning units. It addresses issues such as energy efficiency and air conditioner noise.

Please download the version applicable to your location:

For in-depth, unbiased information on home cooling options and products, please visit

Please note: AIRAH is not able to make arbitration calls on equipment and installation issues. For a list of government programs, including dispute resolution links, click here. You may also wish to view our frequently asked questions for additional assistance.

AIRAH Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide
AIRAH Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide

AIRAH strongly recommends that all refrigeration technicians be trained in the handling of flammable refrigerants. The online Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide (FRSG) has been produced by AIRAH and is a free tool that has been designed to promote awareness of how to best manage the health and safety risks associated with the use of flammable refrigerants in stationary refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

Published: 2018

Access the FRSG
AIRAH Best Practice Guidelines – Methods of calculating Total Equivalent Warming Impact (TEWI)
AIRAH Best Practice Guideline: Methods of calculating Total Equivalent Warming Impact (TEWI)

This guide provides a standardised method of calculating Total Equivalent Warming Impact (TEWI) for new, stationary refrigeration and air conditioning systems at the design stage.

TEWI is a measure of the global warming impact of equipment based on the total related emissions of greenhouse gases during the operation of the equipment and the disposal of the operating fluids at the end-of-life.

This guideline’s aim is to assist facility operators, designers, and industry practitioners to compare the environmental implications of different technical options available to meet their HVAC&R requirements.

Published: 2012 | Pages: 20



AIRAH x Smart Water Fund (SWF) Best Practice Guidelines: Non-residential evaporative air cooling systems – Water efficiency and conservation
AIRAH x Smart Water Fund (SWF) Best Practice Guidelines: Non-residential evaporative air cooling systems – Water efficiency and conservation

These guidelines help owners and operators of evaporative air cooling systems improve water efficiency and reduce water consumption. It covers recommendations for reviewing and improving existing systems and ongoing system maintenance and management for non-residential applications.

This information is based on the contents of AIRAH’s Design Application (DA) manual DA29 Evaporative Air Cooling Systems. AIRAH wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the industry representatives who reviewed these guidelines.

Published: 2011 | Pages: 19


AIRAH x Smart Water Fund (SWF) brochure: Residential evaporative cooling – Water efficiency for evaporative air coolers
AIRAH x Smart Water Fund (SWF) brochure: Residential evaporative cooling – Water efficiency for evaporative air coolers

This brochure, developed by AIRAH and the Smart Water Fund (SWF), provides information about how consumers can improve the water efficiency of their evaporative air cooling systems. It provides recommendations for purchasing new systems, improving existing systems, and ongoing system maintenance and management. These recommendations are intended for residential and light commercial applications. Information about larger scale commercial, industrial, and agricultural applications is available in a separate guide (above).

Published: 2011 | Pages: 4


AIRAH Best Practice Guidelines: Water conservation in cooling towers
AIRAH Best Practice Guideline: Water conservation in cooling towers

This document has been prepared to assist the owners and operators of cooling towers and evaporative cooling systems in reducing the water consumption of cooling systems while retaining required performance. Its intention is to identify the ways in which a cooling tower consumes water and outline a series of best practice recommendations to assist the tower operator or water treatment service provider in the reduction of overall tower water consumption.

Published: 2009 | Pages: 20


For further information on the HVAC&R industry, find out more about the AIRAH Technical Handbook and our Design Application (DA) manuals.

For more on our Best Practice Guidelines or AIRAH’s other technical resources, please email [email protected] or call our national office at 03 8623 3000.

This page was last updated November 23, 2022