ARLINGTON, Va. — In a time of increasing litigation and concern over such things as mold and indoor air quality, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) has produced a new resource guide as a recommended standard of care for moisture and contaminant control.

According to ACCA, Good HVAC Practices for Residential & Commercial Buildings: A Guide for Thermal, Moisture and Contaminant Control is designed to provide a model that contractors can use to demonstrate a level of performance in accordance with recognized industry practices in the design, installation, and maintenance of HVAC systems. The overriding theme of the document is that by using good practices, HVAC professionals can differentiate themselves in the eye of the consumer and reduce the risk of liability through fewer callbacks, improved long-term customer satisfaction, and greater equipment reliability, says the association.

The guidebook is divided into two sections. The first section, "Achieving Good Practices," offers contractors a roadmap that addresses many concerns customers (and insurance carriers) have, including humidity control deficiencies, moisture incursion, and contaminant emission and transport. This includes the new construction and replacement/retrofit markets. The second section, "Assuring Good Practices," frames a business opportunity for contractors who are positioned to embrace the presented concepts, says ACCA.

Jim Hussey, president of Marina Mechanical in San Leandro, Calif., and a past chairman of ACCA, originally developed the idea for the resource guide after meeting with contractors and insurers across the country. "Observing the good practices indicated in this guide will help contractors to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, better satisfy customer expectations, and ultimately, reduce liability exposures," he said.

Good HVAC Practices for Residential & Commercial Buildings costs $17.95 for members and $24.95 for nonmembers and is available online at or by calling 888-290-2220.

Publication date: 09/22/2003