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The Art of HVAC Equipment Right-Sizing:
Load Calculations vs. Rules of Thumb.

Proper equipment sizing is critical for ensuring optimal performance and customer satisfaction. Today, load calculations have in many cases become a building code requirement - if not paramount to determining the right-sized HVAC system. Let’s dive into how right-sizing HVAC equipment can deliver better results.

Section 1: Understanding the Pitfalls of Rules of Thumb
Many folks in the field are still using rules of thumb - and often they can get to the right answer. But an increasing percentage of homes and equipment don't follow those standards anymore. Without engaging in deeper analysis, those contractors may be at significant risk of providing service below their standards or opening themselves up to legal liability.

When a system is oversized it can generate higher upfront costs and ongoing energy costs for the customer - as noted by a study from the Department of Energy in 2014. In the case of air conditioning, it can lead to system cycling - significantly reducing the potential to dehumidify and decreasing comfort in the home. In the best case, this yields an uncomfortable customer experience. But in the worst case, this can lead to mold. And of course, one bad customer review can dramatically hurt your performance - and also jeopardize your license. Load calculations provide protections from both.

Section 2: The Art and Science of Load Calculations
When it comes to load calculations, “garbage in, garbage out” certainly applies. Evaluating the building envelope is critical to ensure the system is sized appropriately - taking into account the materials of windows, walls, doors, ceilings and floors, as well as the infiltration, and design conditions. This work you are already doing every time you are in the home - the load calculation just adds the structure to it.

But to take it a step further- personalized load calculations provide both precision and a customized homeowner experience, helping you differentiate on site. They are a customer engagement tool that demonstrate your deep knowledge of the home and your craft.

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Section 3: Advantages of Right-Sizing HVAC Equipment
Your thoughtful evaluation of a home with a load calculation yields a number of benefits for homeowners - all of which can be thoughtfully integrated into the explanation of the process. Together, this can set you apart from your competitors, by highlighting the following key benefits:

● Enhanced Comfort: By matching the right HVAC system to the specific heating and cooling loads of a retrofit project, homeowners get the right sized solution for their home

● Energy Efficiency: Energy efficiency is often correlated with enhanced comfort. Right sizing can help reduce short cycling of equipment such as air conditioning units and heat pumps.

● Cost Savings: For homeowners, right-sizing systems can often lead to reduced system sizes, especially if improvements to the building structure have been made since the last system was installed. This can reduce upfront costs for homeowners, while also mitigating ongoing energy expenditures.

● Longevity of Equipment: Correctly sized systems operate more efficiently and experience less wear and tear, potentially extending the lifespan of the HVAC equipment. The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) estimates that proper load calculations can extend the lifespan of HVAC equipment by up to 15%, resulting in cost savings for homeowners.

Section 4: Embracing Technology and Best Practices
Load calculations no longer require pen and paper - a range of next generation software is here to support system sizing - as part of your sales process. There are now solutions on the market that use camera technology to create home scans to generate 3D models, 2D floorplans and load calculations - all in 15 minutes or less - that integrate seamlessly into your sales process.

Load calculations are an indispensable tool for delivering efficient, cost-effective, and tailor-made solutions to homeowners. With the precision of load calculations, you can continue to position yourself as a trusted comfort advisor, delighting customers with long-lasting comfort and savings, using a structure that can protect your license, support your install teams and help position you as a market leader. With the right tools, you can now use HVAC equipment right-sizing to elevate your business to new heights of success and customer satisfaction.

About Conduit Tech
Conduit Tech focuses on supporting HVAC contractors with better tools to drive comfortable, efficient and sustainable homes for every homeowner.Our s ales tools support contractors in designing, selling and installing high performance systems leveraging software and machine learning technologies that integrate home-specific insights and data into the HVAC sales process. We help you get ahead of the game, and future proof your sales process.

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