ASHRAE was founded in 1894 to serve as a source of technical standards and guidelines. Since that time, it has grown into an international society that offers educational information, courses, seminars, career guidence, and publications. The organization also promotes a code of ethics for HVAC professionals and provides for liaison with the general public. One of the most important functions of the organization is to promote research and development in efficient, environmentally friendly technologies.ASHRAE is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and follows ANSI's requirements for due process and standards development.
ASHRAE develops standards for both its members and others professionally concerned with refrigeration processes and the design and maintenance of indoor environments.These standards are often referenced in building codes and are considered useful standards for use by consulting engineers, mechanical contractors, architects, and government agencies.These are legally unenforceable, but commonly accepted standards for architects and engineers.