Making sure that the air conditioning system is properly sized for your home is an integral part of an HVAC installation project. For this, professional contractors conduct a heat load test to ensure that your replacement unit will keep your indoor living spaces at a comfortable temperature while maximizing energy efficiency. Here’s what you need to know about this important procedure.
Your HVAC contractor will take several factors into account when it comes to determining the right size of air conditioning system for your home. These include the following:
- Home design – The style and size of your home have much to do with your HVAC system’s operating efficiency.
- Outdoor conditions – The cooling load is dependent on external factors like Arizona humidity levels, elevation and the directional orientation of your home.
- Thermal enclosure – Your home’s thermal enclosure and its ability to ensure consistent comfort all-year-round take into consideration the quality of your windows and insulation, as well as the amount of external shade your home receives.
- Internal components – Ductwork passing through an uninsulated attic will have different load requirements compared to one passing through an insulated attic.
What Happens During Heat Load Testing?
Your chosen HVAC company will first check the quality of your door and window openings, as well as the insulation and arrangement of your home’s ductwork. The team may also perform a blower door test to check if some parts of your home’s energy envelope have leaks.
Measurements will then be taken to determine your home’s heat load. Called the Manual J Residential Calculation, it’s designed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) as a protocol for determining the cold air required to cool indoor living spaces. Through this, your contractor can determine the correct size of air conditioning system to install in your home.