What is an HVAC Load Calculation?

hvac load calculationThe average family in the United States pays almost $3,000 for utilities each year. Over 10 years, that adds up to almost $30,000 just for utilities.

In our experience here at Breen Design, we think that many families actually pay too much for utilities because they have the incorrect HVAC installed.

So, whether you’re building new or replacing an old system, an HVAC load calculation can ensure that you install the correct equipment that allows homeowners to heat their homes without breaking the bank.

Read on for all you need to know about HVAC load calculations.

What is an HVAC Load Calculation?

An HVAC load calculation is a process of determining what kind of HVAC system you’ll need to control the temperature of a home or building. It is a room by room calculation of heating and cooling loads.

It’s important to get this calculation correct so that you can add the right ducting and equipment to the system in order to effectively maintain the temperature as well as conserve energy and utility costs.

The load calculation is usually performed by a building sciences expert or a specialist such as Breen Design.

The professional will need access to the attic and may ask for building plans if you’re installing a system in a new home. Having this information will allow them to make a more accurate recommendation.

If you’re replacing a system, the professional may need to perform various tests if you’re not able to provide building plans from the home’s construction.

How Does It Work?

In the past, HVAC load calculations used to only be based on the square footage of the home or building involved.

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) have since drafted various manuals to guide HVAC load calculations so that they are more accurate and informative.

When a calculation is being done on a home or room, the following factors are taken into account:

  • The orientation of the room or home (Which direction does it face?)
  • The insulation levels (walls, attic, windows, etc.)
  • The number of bedrooms and occupants
  • The construction
  • The local climate (including average highs and lows)
  • Any additional environmental factors

Once these different factors have been assessed, you’ll be able to determine which HVAC system would best serve the home’s needs.

What Do the Results Tell You?

The HVAC load calculation results will tell you what size and type of equipment you’ll need to use to properly control the temperature of an entire home and each room.

With load calculations, a professional can make appropriate recommendations to make sure that the equipment you plan to install operates efficiently.

Using the correct type and size of equipment will ensure that a homeowner doesn’t overpay for heat or air conditioning.

What’s Next?

Now that you know why you need an HVAC load calculation, it’s time to turn to Breen Design so the job is done properly!

If you want to prevent a client from paying too much for temperature related utilities, just have your load calculation completed prior to installing your HVAC system.

Contact us for more info on HVAC systems and how they work.

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