Using an HVAC Consultant
I’m pretty much sold on the idea of using an outside consultant to design the HVAC system for our new home construction. I’m thinking Energy Vanguard, HVAC Design Pros, or similar).
It’s a fairly expensive proposition (~$2500 for full heating & cooling design, load calculation, equipment selection, duct design, and grille & register sizing). I’m guessing it’s money well spent compared to having a poorly designed system.
But I have a couple of questions before I lay out this kind of money:
– Will these consultants work with me collaboratively to understand my planned use for the house, to define the various conditioning zones?
– Would they try to find the best solution for installing the equipment to keep it out of sight yet accessible for service? I’m asking because we have no attic or crawlspace, so we’ll need to run ducts in soffits, and try to mount equipment probably in closets or small spaces that we can still add to the layout. So I’d want to make sure that they don’t just throw the equipment notionally onto a sketch, without discussing the best way to actually install the equipment.
– Probably most importantly, how likely is it that I’ll be able to find an HVAC subcontractor who’ll be willing to execute the design? Have people had luck with that, or do the HVAC contractors resist implementing someone’s else’s design, either out of ignorance or because they don’t feel that they can’t stand behind someone else’s design? This design service won’t do me much good (other than having the Manual J calcs) if I can’t get it executed.
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