Sixth edition

The sixth edition of the AIRAH Technical Handbook was released in April 2021. 

As part of our membership benefits, AIRAH members receive exclusive free access to the digital version of the Handbook, including appendices A–K.

For information on ordering the hard copy version of this essential resource, please click here.

Release date: April 6, 2021
Editor: Vince J Aherne BSc(Hons)Eng, MEnvMgt, Dip BSEng, Cert. Eng, F.AIRAH

Welcome to the sixth edition of the AIRAH Technical Handbook 

For more than three decades, this Handbook has been an integral part of AIRAH’s service to its members. It is with much pride that AIRAH provides you with this new revised edition.

This edition of the Handbook sees a back-to-basics return to focusing on the engineering fundamentals of the science of HVAC&R. Most of the charts, graphs, equations, calculators, and application tables and guidelines have been incorporated into the core Handbook sections for ease of reference, while the larger data tables and more descriptive engineering and management materials are all grouped in a series of virtual appendices.

Some AIRAH members like to show and use the hard copy version of the Handbook while others prefer to work with a digital version

AIRAH found that the majority of members who expressed a view preferred the Handbook to be available in both formats. 

As a result, the sixth edition of the AIRAH Technical Handbook continues to be produced in both print (sections only) and digital formats, with the virtual appendices and other associated materials available online at the AIRAH Technical Handbook sub-site.

Every edition of the Handbook builds on the previous one, and this edition incorporates a great deal of new data for members – including new or updated information on the following topics:
  • Design data in section 2 – A range of additional and updated design data has been incorporated including climate data; solar heat gain data; ventilation data; and heat gain data for people, lights, and appliances
  • Climate data in appendix K and on the website – Includes ASHRAE data pages for 53 Australian sites, and the pre- and post-1990 Australian DA09 Critical and Comfort data sets
  • Air distribution in section 4 – Consolidated duct-sizing information with the full range of duct fitting loss coefficients (kT) tables and figures now reinstated
  • Thermal comfort in section 6 – Inclusion of a new AIRAH psychrometric chart and comprehensive introductory information on both psychrometric analysis and thermal comfort analysis
  • Residential cooling analysis in section 6 – An explanation of the various factors that should be accounted for in the calculation of a residential heat load estimate 
  • Particulate air filters in section 6 – Updated information on the current classification systems and test methodologies for filter rating, and on the energy-efficiency aspects of air filters
  • Maintenance of HVAC&R in section 6 – Updated information on the planning and delivery of HVAC&R maintenance 
  • Noise and vibration in section 7 – Updated information on terminology; noise levels in buildings; and general practices for noise and vibration control, with generic vibration criteria presented both graphically and in tabulated formats
  • Refrigerants in section 8 – Updated information on refrigerant selection; global warming potential of refrigerants; environmental properties of refrigerants; their performance characteristics and pressure enthalpy charts
  • Refrigeration in section 8 – A comprehensive introduction to the AS/NZS 5149 series of standards and updated information on calculating refrigeration loads; commissioning a coolroom; and coolroom maintenance.
The virtual appendices include updated information on psychrometrics; controls; metering and monitoring HVAC; improving a building’s performance rating; improving refrigeration energy efficiency; and controlling corrosion.

A lot of this content has been taken from AIRAH Design Application (DA) manuals and documents. It is material developed by AIRAH members, for AIRAH members. 

The improvement of the Technical Handbook is forever ongoing. If you notice any errors/inaccuracies or have suggestions for changes or new content, please be sure to inform the AIRAH national office at [email protected]

We hope you enjoy the sixth edition and that you find it useful for your work in the HVAC&R industry.

– Vince Aherne, F.AIRAH (LinkedIn)


Sections (hard copy + digital)

Appendices (digital)

  1. General and fundamentals
  2. Design data
  3. Heat transfer and insulation
  4. Air distribution systems
  5. Pipe systems
  6. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning
  7. Noise and vibration
  8. Refrigeration
  1. General – supplementary material
  2. Psychrometrics – supplementary material
  3. Thermal properties of materials
  4. Duct design examples
  5. Controls and HVAC
  6. Metering and monitoring
  7. Improving a building performance rating
  8. Cogeneration designer checklist
  9. Refrigeration – supplementary material
  10. Corrosion
  11. Climate data

Order your hard copy   Digital access

This page was last updated April 8, 2021