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Community and Q&A

Recommendations on HVAC Design

syadasti | Posted in Mechanicals on

Because local HVAC contractors typically oversize and aren’t apt to land on the ideal solution for high performance homes, I am considering analysis by a third party like Energy Vanguard for my cold climate ductless heat pump system:

I would like to get some feedback on services like this and any recommendations of alternatives to them. I was quoted $900 for:

-Manual J room-by-room heating and cooling load calculations
-Manual S system specification with Diamond System Builder report for Mitsubishi
ductless equipment
-Equipment and duct sizes for circulation/transfer fans as requested
-Technical support to understand the reports and communicate with your HVAC
contractor / installer


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  1. user-2890856 | | #1

    Money well spent .

  2. syadasti | | #2

    I need a little more detailed feedback and are there other vendors I should consider? Is that a fair price for 3000 sq ft of conditioned space?


  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    I agree with Richard. It would be money well spent.

    More information on the topic can be found here: Who Can Perform My Load Calculations?

  4. Yupster | | #4

    As a third party hvac designer up in the Great White North, I heartily agree on the money well spent! :) The price is not unreasonable, especially since you are getting the work done by some extraordinarily well-informed people. Having confidence in a job well done is worth every penny.

  5. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #5

    A couple of years ago I was involved with project that charged that much just for the Manual-J on a ~3000' house (that ended up with a ductless heat pump solution), not the Manual-S too.

    And that was after being quoted more than $1500 for those services from a mechanical contractor (who not surprisingly, didn't get the business on any part of that project.)

    Definitely not over-priced at $900.

  6. syadasti | | #6

    Martin do you feel those three contractors - Allison from Energy Vanguard in Georgia, Michael from DEAP Group in Mass, and Andy from HVAC Sizing in Austin are on par with each other? Is there any reason to favor the HVAC designer from MA over the two from the South since they're all using the same inputs and similar software - project is based in VT.

  7. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #7

    I know Allison Bailes (Energy Vanguard) and Mike Duclos (DEAP) and trust their work. Both are quite familiar with the special needs of low-load buildings.

    I don't know Andy Pell (Fresh Air HVAC Sizing).

    I would certainly trust Allison Bailes or Mike Duclos to do the work you need, and I have no reason to doubt that Andy Pell also does good work.

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