The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers formed a task group to publish and disseminate information to consumers to educate and inform them about HVACR and construction options.

The ASHRAE Task Group in Residential and Small Building Applications held its first meeting at the society's 2001 annual meeting in Cincinnati.

Group members proposed the creation of a homeowners manual, which would provide "unbiased, easy-to-understand information to consumers so they can make informed decisions regarding HVAC," said Lawrence Spielvogel, chair of the task group. The manual would include guidance on the day-to-day operation and maintenance of HVACR systems, the pros and cons of warranties and service contracts and repair vs. replacement.

The task group is also considering providing this information to house inspectors and home energy rating systems personnel.

"As energy becomes more important, resale values of houses will be influenced by energy efficiency," Spielvogel said.

Other methods to inform the public are public service announcements and creation of a consumer section on ASHRAE Online.

Persons interested in serving on the task force should submit ASHRAE biographic forms, available on ASHRAE Online (, to ASHRAE Technical Services Manager, 1791 Tullie Circle N.E., Atlanta, GA 30329-2305, fax 404/321-5478, e-mail