HVAC & Refrigeration References

Complete List of the Must Have References for the HVAC and Refrigeration PE Exam

The following references are recommended to be reviewed prior to the exam and should be used during the exam. When reviewing these references, make sure you first understand the content. These references do not go into depth on explaining the equations or concepts but are simply references. If you require more background information on any of the information in these references, then you may need to research the information on the internet. Secondly, you should be very familiar with the indices of these references and should be able to navigate the references to find information quickly. This may require you to insert tabs into the references. Once you have completed these two tasks then you should be ready to use these references during the exam. (Tip: It is helpful to have the indices of your references printed separately to allow you to have both the index and the reference material open at the same time, making for quicker searches.)

Please see the below link to the google spreadsheet. You can also read below about a majority of the different references. If you have any suggestions or questions on the list, please email Justin at contact@engproguides.com or you can comment on the spreadsheet or at the bottom of this page.

Link: Engineering Pro Guides Google Spreadsheet of the Complete List of References for the HVAC and Refrigeration PE Exam

NCEES HVAC and Refrigeration Exam Specifications

The first reference that you should obtain is free. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying or NCEES develops, administers and scores the P.E. exam. The NCEES also publishes an exam specification with the various topics that can be on the exam. It is important to use this document to help direct your studying.

NCEES HVAC and Refrigeration Sample Questions and Solutions

The second must have reference is the NCEES HVAC and Refrigeration Sample Questions and Solutions. This reference is important because it allows you to get familiar with the test format, test material and level of difficulty. I would suggest going through this reference earlier in your studying to provide further direction and focus in your studying.

  • Level of difficulty
  • Test material
  • Exam format

ASHRAE Fundamentals 2017

TThis is a must have resource for the HVAC and Refrigeration portion of the exam. It contains valuable information that can be used during the exam and is a common resource for the practicing professional engineer. Important resources found in this book include but are not limited to:

  • Roof, Wall, Window material properties
  • Duct sizing formulas, graphs and material properties
  • Pipe sizing formulas, graphs and material properties
  • Refrigeration diagrams and refrigerant properties
  • Material and fluid properties
  • Thermodynamics
  • Psychrometrics
  • Heat Transfer
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Heating and Cooling Load Calculations
  • Combustion and Fuels

Topics Covered: Sections 3.0 Thermodynamics, 4.0 Psychrometrics, 5.0 Heat Transfer, 6.0 Fluid Mechanics, 7.0 Energy/Mass Balance, 8.0 Heating/Cooling Loads, 9.0 Equipment and Components, 10.0 Systems & Equipment

Link: 2017 ASHRAE Handbook: Fundamentals

2016 ASHRAE Handbook: Systems and Equipment

This book provides information on various HVAC equipment and systems. It is recommended that this book be reviewed prior to the exam, in order to gain an understanding of the different pieces of HVAC equipment. Often times, engineers in training do not get exposed to all the popular pieces of equipment during their training period. This book will provide the necessary exposure to the various equipment and systems.

  • Air Handling and Distribution
  • Steam Systems
  • Hydronic Heating and Cooling
  • Duct Construction
  • Room Air Distribution
  • Fans
  • Air Cooling and Dehumidifying Coils
  • Desiccant Dehumidification and Pressure-Drying Equipment
  • Air to Air Energy Recovery Equipment
  • Compressors
  • Condensers
  • Cooling Towers
  • Evaporative Air Cooling Equipment
  • Pumps
  • Pipes, Tubes and Fittings
  • Valves
  • Heat Exchangers

Topics Covered: Sections 8.0 Heating/Cooling Loads, 9.0 Equipment and Components, 10.0 Systems & Equipment

Link: 2016 ASHRAE Handbook: Systems and Equipment

2015 ASHRAE Handbook: HVAC Applications

This book provides information on various HVAC Applications. It provides various scenarios encountered by HVAC Engineers and how the systems and equipment discussed in the previous book are used in different applications. It is recommended that this book be reviewed slightly prior to the exam, in order to gain an understanding of the different applications encountered. Often times, engineers in training do not get exposed to the wide variety of HVAC applications. This book will provide the necessary exposure to the various applications.

Topics Covered: Sections 9.0 Equipment and Components, 10.0 Systems & Equipment

Link: 2015 ASHRAE Handbook: HVAC Applications

2014 ASHRAE Handbook: Refrigeration

The final book in the ASHRAE series is ASHRAE Refrigeration. This book discusses the various refrigeration systems and excludes the HVAC portion of HVAC/R. This book is necessary to bring into the exam because of the thermal properties of foods and refrigerant pipe sizing. All of the ASHRAE books go into much more detail than is necessary for the exam, it is important to remember that for this exam the level of complexity must allow for a problem to be completed in 6 minutes and the problem must not be too obscure and detailed.

Topics Covered: Sections 9.0 Equipment and Components, 10.0 Systems & Equipment

Link: 2014 ASHRAE Handbook: Refrigeration

ASHRAE 15, Safety Standard for Refrigeration Systems

Often times the HVAC engineer will have to design a Refrigeration System and this system and this system must meet the requirements set forth in this standard. It also provides safety designations and classifications of refrigerants.

ASHRAE 55, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy

This standard provides the method and requirements for determining optimum thermal environmental conditions for human occupancy.

ASHRAE 62.1, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality

This standard provides the minimum ventilation requirements for indoor occupied spaces. This standard is used often by practicing engineers when determining outside air and exhaust air requirements for spaces, since many governing city, state and federal agencies require their projects to meet this standard.

ASHRAE 90.1, Energy Standard for Building Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings

This standard provides the minimum energy efficiency requirements for common HVAC equipment. This standard is used often by practicing engineers when selecting and modelling HVAC equipment, since many governing city, state and federal agencies require their projects to meet this standard.

NFAP 90A/90B

The National Fire Protection Agency provides codes and standards related to fire protection. The only recommended NFPA codes are those relating to HVAC systems. These codes are (1) NFPA 90A and 90B, which are titled the Standard for the Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilating Systems and the Standard for the Installation of Warm Air Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

Engineering Unit Conversions

The Engineering Unit Conversions book simplifies conversions with a large list of conversion factors by unit. This is a recommended book to use during the exam and while studying for the exam to increase your test taking speed.


Engineering Economics

The following links provide useful equations and tables that will be required to solve economics problems during the test.

Economics Factors

Compound Interest Tables


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