Finding the proper and most energy-efficient HVAC unit for your home or office is not difficult if you know where to start. HVAC units can be purchased for homes and businesses, and by contractors, engineers, architects, and more. Determining the best size and type of HVAC unit for your facility means starting at square one and using load and energy calculations.
An energy calculation is used mostly by contractors and involves determining whether or not the building envelope and materials meet or exceed local and state building codes. This is an essential part of deciding on the proper size of the heating and air-conditioning unit that will be placed in the home or office, so it is important it is done correctly. Contractors are very experienced and knowledgeable in this area, and they know exactly what to do to ensure that the right sized unit is placed in the facility. This is often called the Manual J method of calculating both room-by-room and total house heating and cooling needs. Although Manual J applies only to residential locations, its basic premises can be applied to small businesses as well.
What are Energy Calculations?
An energy calculation is often done by professional contractors and not by the homeowner. The calculation involves several steps, and it takes into consideration all surfaces of the building envelope, including walls, windows and doors, as well as the duct system’s tightness and location, the location of the home, the rate of infiltration of the house, and the people and heat-producing appliances in the home. All of these work together and affect the type of heating and AC unit that will be purchased.
Basically, professional contractors are taking into consideration things like location, number of people, windows, ducts, indoor and outdoor temperatures, and humidity. Only by taking all of these factors into consideration will the correct size and type of unit be determined.
How Important Is Energy Calculation?
Energy calculation is important, because without it, a heating and AC unit may be either too small or too large. Each of these situations results in different problems—problems that can be avoided by simply performing a proper calculation beforehand of the home’s heating and cooling needs. Contractors should perform these calculations for every single unit they place in a home or office, and perform the calculations in an exact and correct manner.
As mentioned earlier, it is best to use a professional when determining energy calculations for your home. However, if you do decide to perform this step yourself, there are a number of manuals and documents sold by numerous professional companies that can help you with a step-by-step guide to making sure you perform the calculations correctly.