What if a builder refused to build from plans drawn by an architect? What if a tile installer refused to implement designs handed to them and instead did their own thing? What if an HVAC contractor told a potential client they wouldn’t install a system designed by a third party to ACCA protocols?
One of those questions is more real than the others. Of course builders build from architects’ plans and tile installers don’t throw out designs they’re asked to implement. But third-party HVAC design is a different animal.
The benefits of using a third party for HVAC design
We do third-party residential HVAC design at Energy Vanguard. Andy Bell runs that part of the company and is a true master of the art and science of heating and cooling load calculations (ACCA Manual J), equipment selection (Manual S), register and grille selection (Manual T), and duct design (Manual D). That’s pretty much all he does these days.
Our clients are architects, HVAC contractors, home builders, owner-builders, and homeowners having their dream home built. When they hire us, they do so for several reasons. They want:
We’re one of a pretty small group of companies that do third-party design and an even smaller number that does it remotely. Mostly what happens is that HVAC contractors make the decisions about what equipment to install, what size it will be, and how to get the heating and cooling distributed. Sometimes they do actual design, using the protocols of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). Mostly they use other methods, oftentimes rules of thumb.
The problem with rules of thumb is that they’re unreliable. Using the industry standard ACCA protocols, when they’re done accurately, doesn’t mean there’s zero chance of problems, but it gives you the best…