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ENERGY STAR Rater Field Checklist: 5. Heating & Cooling Equipment


When certifying a home to ENERGY STAR Single-Family New Homes, Version 3.0/3.1 (Rev. 11), the Energy Rater completes the Rater Field checklist to document thermal enclosure and HVAC system performance. The Rater completes this Checklist during two site visits – one prior to drywall installation and the other after construction is complete.

This page shows the checklist requirement for Section 5 of the ENERGY STAR Rater Field Checklist, “Heating & Cooling Equipment,” and applicable footnotes.

For information on HVAC equipment for single-family homes, see the following Building America Solution Center guides. Search the Solution Center by equipment type for additional information on HVAC equipment:


For information on installing HVAC equipment, see installation guides linked to sections 6 through 10 of the Rater Field Checklist

Checklist revised 11/11/2020.
Checklist revised 11/11/2020.



2. 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

3. The column titled “N/A,” which denotes items that are “not applicable,” should be used when the checklist Item is not present in the home or conflicts with local requirements.

31. This Checklist is designed to meet the requirements of ASHRAE 62.2-2010 / 2013 / 2016, and 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 by occupants). Therefore, this Checklist is not a guarantee of proper ventilation, indoor air quality, or HVAC performance.

32. Track A – HVAC Grading shall not be used until an implementation schedule has been defined for ANSI / RESNET / ACCA Std. 310 by the HCO that the home is being certified under. Track A – HVAC Grading shall then use ANSI / RESNET / ACCA Std. 310 including all Addenda and Normative Appendices, with new versions and Addenda implemented according to the schedule defined by the HCO that the home is being certified under. For Track A, all unitary HVAC Systems including air conditioners and heat pumps up to 65 kBtuh and furnaces up to 125 kBtuh shall comply with 5a.1 through 5a.3 for the home to be certified.

33. If the non-invasive procedure in ANSI / RESNET / ACCA Std. 310 is not permitted to be used during the final inspection of a home (i.e., due to the equipment type or to outdoor air temperatures that do not meet the requirements of the non-invasive method), then the home is permitted to be certified with a default refrigerant charge designation of Grade III. Note that in these circumstances, the weigh-in method procedure in ANSI / RESNET / ACCA Std. 310 may still be used to pursue a Grade I designation.

34. If installed equipment does not match the National HVAC Design Report, then prior to certification the Rater shall obtain written approval from the designer (e.g., email, updated National HVAC Design Report) confirming that the installed equipment meets the requirements of the National HVAC Design Report. In addition, if “N/A” was selected for Item 1.2 of the National Rater Design Review Checklist, then the Rater shall verify that all installed equipment is an exempted type per Footnote 9 of that Checklist or, if not an exempted type, shall re-review the National Rater Design Review Checklist to ensure compliance with all requirements (e.g., contractor credential, full completion of HVAC Design Report, HVAC design tolerances).

35. The Rater shall measure and record the external static pressure in the return-side and supply-side of the system using the contractor-provided test locations. However, at this time, the Rater need not assess whether these values are within a specific range to certify the home.

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

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