Whether you’re after an HVAC upgrade for your existing home or you’re making the initial purchase for a new home, it’s wise to hire a pro to perform a load calculation before you commit. A load calculation is necessary to determine equipment size. And remember, the size plays a huge role in how efficiently your HVAC system runs and how comfortable your home stays on the hottest days this summer.
Here are some tips for getting the best results possible by using Manual J (for heating and cooling load calculations) and Manual D (for duct design calculations).
- Don’t rely on rules of thumb: As a homeowner who wants to get the selection process over with quickly, you may question the importance of hiring an HVAC professional to run load calculations. Why not make a selection based on square footage and climate alone? The answer is simple: if you want to save the most money possible on utility bills, take the time to size your HVAC equipment properly based on other factors such as heat-generating appliances, home orientation, window size and layout, occupancy, home and duct tightness, and insulation levels.
- Get your numbers straight: If you’re missing important information for the load calculation, work on finding them rather than leaving holes in the numbers you need. This involves having all your home’s specifications, performing energy efficiency tests, and having the contractor do a walk-through to get all the required information.
- Consider energy-efficient upgrades: After the contractor runs an energy audit to determine insulation levels and home tightness, consider making affordable upgrades, which could improve your numbers, allow for a smaller HVAC system, and result in ongoing energy savings.
- Keep Manuals J and D handy: Only work with a contractor who relies on these manuals for load calculations. Improper estimates at this stage could impact your comfort and utility bills for years to come.
- Don’t “fudge” the numbers: Inexperienced contractors may think they’re doing you a favor by “fudging” the numbers on the higher side of things. However, innocent miscalculations on one end could work out to mean big errors when selecting the ideal equipment size. Choose a contractor who keeps their numbers painstakingly accurate for the best results.
To learn more about sizing an HVAC system upgrade, please contact the professionals at AirRite Air Conditioning today. We have proudly served the Fort Worth/Arlington area since 1955.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about load calculations and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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