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Seeking Recommendations for Residential Mechanical Designer

RBecca | Posted in Mechanicals on

Anyone have a residential HVAC designer they’d rec for reasonably high performance/ green/ etc. design in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area? Buying a house and while a full blown remodel isn’t in the cards immediately, it’s got an older boiler and AC unit and I’d like to noodle with a professional about our ultimate end game before we dive into related incremental projects (weatherizing, insulation, etc) so that we don’t wind up redoing work down the road. (And so we have a plan in case something decides to die a little sooner rather than later). Probably leaning third party designer over contractor but I’ll take contractor recs too if anyone’s got ’em.

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Replies

  1. user-2310254 | | #1

    Rebecca,

    If you haven't already, read this article: https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/who-can-perform-my-load-calculations. FWIW, you don't really need a local designer to secure an accurate calculation. That said, there should be qualified individuals in your market.

  2. billfrombirchwood | | #2

    Do you want to keep your hydronics system? Are you looking for mechanical engineer or a contractor? I replaced our boiler with a water heater over here in White Bear Lake, MN, in hind site should have installed a heat pump that could also feed water into the air handler for AC. Our remodel involved quite a bit of air sealing and improving the insulation. All of the baseboard was replaced with Warmboard. In the family room we have low temperature baseboard.

    I would start with a blower door test, then have a local rater do a Manual j. Boiler Exxperts in WBL can extend the life of a boiler while you work on weatherization.

    Try contacting the Minnesota Energy services. https://www.mncee.org/new-construction-services.

    1. user-2890856 | | #3

      Be very careful with program contractors . The mentioned above may be very good but they would be the exception and not the rule . https://www.facebook.com/groups/1973027082940702

  3. pnw_owner_builder | | #4

    I'm in a similar boat. Bought a 1984 rambler in Mill Creek, WA (just north of Seattle) in April and will be working through a remodel over the next year or two and in the planning phase to get all the pieces to play together nicely so we don't duplicate work. However, I need to add AC now and will replace the 30 y/o furnace/AHU. I'd like to size everything based on the upcoming efficiency improvements so will tweak the load calculations accordingly.

    Any recommendations for a ME / HVAC designer that can run through the Manual JSTD and "geek" out with my overengineering tendencies? :-) I can get through J (with coolcalc.com), but want to ensure the AHU can handle airflow requirements that meet my filtration requirements, future ventilator tie-ins, etc. And I want to oversize the media cabinet for high MERV filters while maintaining a low pressure drop (see https://www.energyvanguard.com/blog/path-low-pressure-drop-across-high-merv-filter/) -- and getting the dimensions right to pass to the installers.

    Lots of fun.

    1. user-2310254 | | #5

      I think Energy Vanguard works with clients in different regions.

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