HVAC Design is the Missing Ingredient in Most Homes
The HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning) systems not only consume huge amounts of a home’s total energy budget, but also impact the comfort and well-being of the occupants more than any other system in a house. Since these systems play such a large role in a home’s performance, it’s important that they receive enough “design” attention to make sure they’ll work as intended. Generally speaking, this is not the case.
Summary of the typical HVAC system:
- Only delivers 65% of the heating/cooling that it should.
- Blows too much air in some rooms, and not enough in others.
- Pulls pollutants into the home from outside spaces (from duct leakage and/or lack of pressure balancing).
- Has no means of bringing in outside air to ventilate the indoor environment.
- The machine is typically over-sized, compared to what the house actually needs.
- No filtration system is present to remove small particulate — the cheap-o filters don’t count.
- Air doesn’t circulate within rooms effectively, resulting in stratified air (cool air stays on the floor – hot air stays on the top – not very comfortable).
We recommend the ACCA 4-step HVAC design process:
Often times, we simply provide one or two of these design services for our clients. Sometimes they do the others themselves, or hire an HVAC contractor to install the system that will perform the other steps. Whether you’d like us involved in one, or all of these steps, we’re happy to help.
We assess the building (new or existing) to determine how much air it will require in each room to maintain comfort. Hundreds of variables are analyzed by the software we use. This utilizes the 8th edition of ACCA’s Manual-J.
We’ll select properly sized equipment that can satisfy the loads of the home, while not being over-sized. This is crucial for proper humidity control. If you have an existing system, don’t worry. Replacement isn’t always necessary. There are other solutions to explore.
To ensure the right amount of air gets to the right room, and at the right velocity for proper mixing, the ductwork must be sized correctly. Duct sizes will change depending on a variety of factors. Never trust a rule of thumb when it comes to duct sizing.
The right termination (the grille that you see from inside your house) can make dramatic differences in how air moves around the room. Some terminations are more effective than others, for certain situations. We’ll make sure your terminations match the needs of the home.
Why choose Home Energy Partners?
- Professional Expertise - In addition to providing HVAC design services for our clients, we also train others on how to do the same. Our ACCA-certified EPIC trainer has trained over 100 people in the last year alone, including HERS Raters, HVAC contractors, Builders, and Architects.
- We Speak GREEN - We understand green program requirements like LEED and ENERGY STAR Version 3. We can design to meet these specific standards and complete associated paperwork, if needed.
- Breathe Easy - Our staff has developed ventilation training for national training centers. We have an intimate understanding of ASHRAE 62.2-1010, and the many options available to provide this ventilation to fit any budget.
- Quality Assurance - If you want to have us involved beyond the design-phase, we can provide a variety of on-site services to assist in quality installation – including duct leakage testing, air-flow balancing, and combustion testing.
- Diversity - We’ve worked on a wide spectrum of buildings, from low-income multifamily housing to 25,000 square-foot estates. Our clientele spectrum includes production-oriented HVAC companies to high-end architecture firms, and everywhere in between.