If you’re planning to invest in new home heating or cooling equipment, you’ll want to make sure that your HVAC contractor performs a detailed load calculation to size the equipment correctly. These calculations weren’t always the norm. In the not-too-recent past, HVAC installers commonly used a “rule of thumb” that used a home’s square footage and total number of rooms as the criteria for deciding on the size or capacity of new equipment.
Why Detailed Load Calculations Matter
If your HVAC installer doesn’t perform load calculations, and over- or under-sized equipment is installed in your home, you can experience issues like unnecessarily-high energy bills, and excessive component wear and strain that results in costly breakdowns or premature failures.
Completing a detailed load calculation to determine the correct equipment capacity can not only let you avoid the above-mentioned issues, it can ensure that your home is more comfortable, that humidity stays in check so you’ll prevent problems like mold growth, and that your indoor air quality is preserved.
As an additional benefit, having the equipment sized correctly may save you money on the purchase price, because higher-capacity components always cost more than smaller units with the same features.
What Do Load Calculations Entail?
Today, HVAC contractors perform load calculations using Manual J, which is the industry standard published by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). A contractor first does a through inspection of your home and inputs the data they collect into specialized Manual J software. The software then performs the calculations to determine the equipment capacity needed to efficiently heat or cool your home. The factors taken into account include design conditions for the local climate, and a number of building specifications unique to your home, including:
- The structure’s orientation.
- Air leakage rates.
- Quality, type and R-value level of insulation.
- Number and size of the windows, and their specifications.
- Heat generating appliances and equipment.
- Number of occupants.
- Your preferred comfort settings.
To learn more about the importance of properly-sizing new HVAC equipment for your Yuma home with a detailed load calculation, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.
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 Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.
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