Diapers and Heat Load Calculations

“Son, I’ve been doing this since you were in diapers. Don’t ask me for a heat load calculation.”

Aaahhh. The eloquent argument of a fellow HVAC contractor. Matthew was questioning the size of a system installed by another company; it was completely oversized and destined to cause future mold problems, not to mention its inability to ever keep a comfortable temperature in the home. The installing contractor was obviously a little put off that his visual method of guessing the tonnage was being questioned by this Holtkamp know-it-all.

Although we make light of the scenario, it points to a very real problem for homeowners – not knowing their HVAC system was ever sized correctly. It may seem like no big deal until the homeowner starts to experience mold, hot/cold spots or high energy bills. But if the homeowner has nothing to compare it to, how will they ever be the wiser?

A computerized heat load calculation (also called a Manual J) is absolutely necessary to make sure you’re getting the proper HVAC system. Without one, it’s all one big guessing game, at your expense. Right now is an awesome time to buy a home but take our advice: verify the size of the HVAC system. Ask for a heat load calculation. If the seller or builder cannot provide one, give us a call. Don’t sentence yourself to years of uncomfortable temperatures and high energy bills. 40% of your energy usage is your heating and air system!

A heat load calc takes less than an hour to perform on-site and considers all factors that influence your conditioned air needs such as amount and size of windows, insulation, square footage and directional exposure (just to name a few). It cannot be done by a “walk” through the house; it is an actual computerized calculation. And don’t be scared off when you hear “Son, I’ve been doing this since you were in diapers…”

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