HVAC Organizations and Associations Explained

HVAC Trade Associations

Why Join HVAC Organizations?

What are the advantages of being a member of an HVAC trade organization?

There are a large number of HVAC organizations and associations available to join. These organizations provide valuable opportunities for networking and learning. Some offer examinations and certifications. Participation may provide benefits including group discounts, magazine subscriptions, industry related information, job postings, conferences, and even scholarships. With the opportunity to continue your education, members of these HVAC organizations can stay competitive in this dynamic and evolving industry- these are our top picks.

Our HVAC Association Picks

Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI)

The manufacturers of over 90% of central air conditioning, gas appliances, and commercial refrigeration equipment are represented by the AHRI, more than 180 companies. It was formed in 2008 when two other organizations combined, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute and Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association. Some of the services provided by AHRI:

  • Industry competency exam to test the basic knowledge of entry level HVAC technicians.
  • Equipment donations to HVAC Schools
  • Technician certification program
  • EPA reclaimer certification program
  • Certification of equipment used to recover or recycle refrigerant
  • Their most important and widely recognized contribution is probably HVAC equipment certification

Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute Logo

American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers started in 1904 as the American Society of Refrigeration Engineers with 70 members. Today there are thousands of members, engineers and technicians from all areas of the HVAC industry. They create equipment standards for the industry. Some of the services and contributions provided by ASHRAE:

  • Establish industry standards and guidelines
  • Extended learning opportunities
  • Technical resources and publications
  • Probably their most important contribution has been a series of 4 books that have become the reference books for the industry: HVAC Applications, Refrigeration, Fundamentals, and HVAC Systems and Equipment

American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers Logo

Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA)

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America is a service contractor association. ACCA is concerned with the education and certification of HVAC technicians. It also provides service company owners and service managers with business improvement techniques. Some of the services provided by ACCA:

  • Technician EPA Certification
  • Annual conferences for the education of business owners and service managers
  • Quality standards for HVAC installation and maintenance
  • Commercial HVAC business building guidance and education
  • Industry related technical information
  • Company accreditations
  • Web based continuing training classes

Air Conditioning Contractors of America Logo

Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES)

The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society is the international trade association for all HVACR workers. As the HVACR Training Authority, RSES is dedicated to the education and certification of HVAC workers. They offer education and specialist certification in eight specific HVACR areas. Some of the services provided by RSES:

  • Online and in person training programs
  • EPA Certification for technicians
  • Source for printed resource materials
  • Access to local chapters
  • NATE approved courses

Refrigeration Service Engineers Society Logo

Other HVAC Trade Associations:

ACCA - Air Conditioning Contractors of America

AFEAS - Alternative Fluorocarbons Environmental Acceptability Study

AGA - American Gas Association

AHAM - Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers

AMCA - Air Movement & Control Association

ANSI - American National Standards Institute

AHRI - Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute

ARWI - Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Wholesalers International

ASAE - American Society of Association Executives

ASHRAE - American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers

ABC - Associated Builders & Contractors

BOMA International - Building Owners and Managers Association

COBRA - The Association of Cogeneration

CDA - Copper Development Association

COSA - Carbon Monoxide Safety Association

EEI - Edison Electric Institute

EPRI - Electrical Power Research Institute

EHCC - Eastern Heating & Cooling Council

Envirosense Consortium Inc.

EPEE - European Partnership for Energy and the Environment

FMI - The Food Marketing Institute

GEO - Geothermal Exchange Organization

GMA - Grocery Manufacturers of America

Green Mechanical Council

HARDI - Heating, Airconditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International

HPBA - Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association

HI - Hydraulic Institute

HRAI - Heating, Refrigerating, & Air Conditioning Institute of Canada

HVAC Excellence

IDDBA - International Dairy, Deli, Bakery Association

IFPA - International Fresh-Cut Produce Association

IGSHPA - International Ground Source Heat Pump Association

IIAR - International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration

IHACI - Institute of Heating and Air Conditioning Industries

ISA - The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society

MCAA - Mechanical Contractors Association of America

MSCA - Mechanical Service Contractors of America

NACS - National Association of Convenience Stores

NADCA - National Air Duct Cleaners Association

NAHB - National Association of Home Builders

NAFEM - National Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers

NAM - National Association of Manufacturers

NATE - North American Technician Excellence Program

NRA - National Restaurant Association

NEMA - National Electrical Manufacturers Association

NFFS – Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society

NIPC - National inhalant Prevention Coalition

PHCC - Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association

PIMA - Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association

PMA - Produce Marketing Association

RACCA - Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors Association

RSES - Refrigeration Service Engineers Society

SMACNA - Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

SMWIA - Sheet Metal Workers International Association

UL - Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

UA - United Association

Question: What is AHRI?

AHRI identifies acceptable equipment combinations for various applications. Homeowners should always ensure their HVAC contractor references this information when installing their new HVAC system. Manufacturers will not warranty systems that are not AHRI approved.

Up Next about HVAC

Next we'll take a look at a few of the main HVAC Equipment Manufacturers.

Written by Jeremy James

Jeremy James is a veteran of the U.S. Navy who has grown his family's HVAC business into one of the most successful home service businesses in Knoxville, TN. More than 20 years of experience in the HVAC and Engineering industries and passion for what we do has translated into our customer service, professionalism, and quality. LinkedIn

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