If you’re planning to upgrade your air conditioner this summer, you should know that size matters. Proper load calculations are essential to ensuring that your cooling equipment operates as efficiently and effectively as possible. Here’s a look at what you should expect from your contractor, and how correctly performed load calculations can benefit you.
How should my air conditioner be sized?
Some of the more seasoned HVAC contractors snub the idea of utilizing load calculation tools like Manual J and Manual D. This is because they believe that after years of experience, they simply have a good “feel” for these things. In reality, the process of determining your home’s heating and cooling loads (Manual J) and duct design (Manual D) will requires scientific precision. When installing a new air conditioner, insist that your technician utilizes Manual J sizing techniques. During this process, he or she should consider a number of factors including:
- Your local climate
- Home size in cubic feet
- Orientation of your home
- Home insulation levels and airtightness
- Number of windows and their locations
- Number of household occupants
- Heat-producing appliances
In the event that you’re building a new home, your contractor also will need to design the ductwork to support your HVAC equipment through Manual D. Manual D is tied to the room-by-room heat loss and gain information that was determined during Manual J. Both HVAC protocols are certified and recommended by the Air Conditioner Contractors of America (ACCA).
How will I benefit from load calculations?
You should never let a contractor convince you to install an air conditioner that is larger than your home’s needs. Oversized system waste energy and provide uneven cooling as they frequently cycle on and off. Leading to unnecessary wear and tear on your equipment, short cycles also detract from the system’s ability to properly dehumidify your home. Ultimately, this could lead to discomfort and problems with mold.
When you insist that your HVAC professional sizes your air conditioner with ACCA-approved load calculations, you will enjoy higher levels of home comfort, lower utility bills, and increased system longevity.
For more information on load calculations and proper A/C installation, please contact the professionals at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We’re proud to serve residents of Yuma and its surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona 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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