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ENERGY STAR HVAC Commissioning Checklist: 2. Refrigerant Charge


When certifying a home to to ENERGY STAR Single-Family New Homes, Version 3/3.1 (Rev. 11), the HVAC Installer completes the HVAC Commissioning Checklist to document information about the contractor and house, refrigerant charge, HVAC fan air flow, and air balancing. One HVAC Commissioning Checklist is completed for each system installed. The HVAC installation contractor must make copies of the HVAC Commissioning Checklist available to the builder, the rater responsible for certifying the home, and the HVAC oversight organization, upon request.

This page shows the checklist requirement for Section 2. Refrigerant Charge and applicable footnotes.

For information on installing HVAC equipment, see installation guides linked to the HVAC section of the National Rater Field Checklist.

For information on evaluating refrigerant charge, see the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s ANSI/ACCA 5 QI - 2015 HVAC Quality Installation Specification.

HVAC Commissioning Checklist Section 2 Revision 11
Checklist revised 11/11/2020.  



1. This Checklist is designed to align with the requirements of ANSI / ACCA’s 5 QI-2015 protocol, thereby improving the performance of HVAC equipment in new homes when compared to homes built to minimum code. However, these features alone cannot prevent all ventilation, indoor air quality, and HVAC problems (e.g., those caused by a lack of maintenance or occupant behavior). Therefore, this Checklist is not a guarantee of proper ventilation, indoor air quality, or HVAC performance. This Checklist applies to split air conditioners, unitary air conditioners, air-source heat pumps, and water-source (i.e., geothermal) heat pumps up to 65 kBtuh with forced-air distribution systems (i.e., ducts) and to furnaces up to 225 kBtuh with forced-air distribution systems (i.e., ducts). All other permutations of equipment (e.g., boilers, mini-split / multi-split systems) and distribution systems are exempt.

2. For a home certified in the State of ID, MT, OR, or WA, the following alternatives and exemptions apply:

  1. For a home with an air-source heat pump up to 65 kBtuh with a forced-air distribution system (i.e., ducts), the contractor is permitted to complete the 2011 PTCS® Commissioned Heat Pump Certificate and Startup Form in lieu of this Checklist.
  2. For a home with a split air conditioner or unitary air conditioner up to 65 kBtuh with a forced-air distribution system (i.e., ducts), the contractor is permitted to complete the Northwest Central AC Commissioning & Startup Form in lieu of this Checklist.
  3. For a home in a location with < 600 CDD, the completion of this Checklist is recommended, but not required.

3. The term ‘Rater’ refers to the person(s) completing the third-party verification required for certification. The person(s) shall: a) be a Certified Rater or Approved Inspector, as defined by ANSI / RESNET / ICC Standard 301, or an equivalent designation as determined by a Home Certification Organization (HCO); and, b) have attended and successfully completed an EPA-recognized training class. See

4. Either factory-installed or field-installed TXV’s may be used. For field-installed TXV’s, ensure that sensing bulbs are insulated and tightly clamped to the vapor line with good linear thermal contact at the recommended orientation, usually 4 or 8 o’clock.

Contributors to this Guide: ENERGY STAR Single-Family New Homes, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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