Manual J Load Calculation
The process of preparing an accurate HVAC estimate should begin with a Manual J Load Calculation, which is recommended by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. Manual J Load Calculations are used to determine what size furnace or air conditioning unit is appropriate for a particular home or business.
The process considers a wide array of factors, including the existing HVAC system, available insulation, number of windows, structure configuration and geographic orientation of the building. A Manual J Load calculation is also useful for determining the total heating and cooling loss of a building during the summer and winter months.
The status of your ductwork will be a primary consideration in determining which HVAC system should be recommended. The size and efficiency of a ductwork system plays a large role in determining the overall effectiveness of a heating and air conditioning system.
The contractor will analyze the configuration of any existing ductwork in addition to searching for damaged ducting, loose joints and other factors that will limit the efficiency of an HVAC system installation. The existing ductwork system may be incompatible with modern HVAC technology.
Sealing and Insulation
The contractor will also determine whether the home or business is properly insulated and sealed. Poor sealing around windows and doors and insufficient insulation will allow air to escape rather than heating or cooling the indoor environment as intended. Correcting these problems will maximize efficiency and save money.
Presentation of New Technology
Purchasing a new heating and air conditioning system is an investment in the future. A knowledgeable HVAC contractor will apprise you of new technology that could increase the comfort and efficiency of your indoor environment.
An Informed Decision
Asking the right questions and insisting on a thorough evaluation of your property will pay big dividends. You’ll know a lot more about your home or business, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what heating and air conditioning equipment is presently available. Now you’re in a position to make a knowledgeable decision.
The contractor you choose should keep you informed at every stage of the process. Is the company bonded and insured? Will the work be completed by licensed and certified HVAC technicians? Will the contractor obtain the necessary licenses and permits? What is the timetable for project completion? Will the contractor take away the old equipment and materials? If a contract or payment schedule is involved, make sure you understand the terms. Finally, is the equipment and work guaranteed? The process may seem complicated, but your attention to detail will result in many years of indoor comfort and energy efficiency. Now that should bring a big smile to your face.