Manual J

HVAC System

What Is a Manual J Load Calculation?

Manual J Calculation.jpg

Some HVAC terms are easy to understand while others may leave you scratching your head. For many Broken Arrow area homeowners, Manual J load calculation is definitely in the latter category. Not only is it the first step towards choosing the right HVAC system for your home, but it’s also an essential step.

Developed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Manual J load calculation offers homeowners and contractors a way to properly size up a home’s HVAC needs and design an HVAC system that offers the best performance and efficiency match.

How Manual J Benefits Your Home

Different homes have different heating and cooling requirements and it’s easy to choose an HVAC unit that’s ill-equipped to handle your home. Depending on the age-old “rule of thumb” often results in an HVAC system that’s either underpowered or overpowered for the given environment. The former can make your home unbearable during the summer while the latter wastes energy while increasing overall discomfort.

Manual J lets contractors choose the right HVAC system by calculating a home’s precise heating and cooling needs. A typical Manual J calculation takes many of the following factors into account:

  • Square footage

  • Building materials

  • Location and directional orientation

  • Heat gain and loss throughout the entire home

  • Current HVAC system size and type

  • Insulation levels

  • Window types

  • Duct leakage

Using specially designed software, contractors can recommend an HVAC system that provides optimal comfort without using too much energy or wearing out early. Manual J load calculations are commonly done in conjunction with other ACCA design protocols, including Manual S equipment selection and Manual D ductwork design.

No HVAC system replacement should start without a Manual J load calculation. Contact Air Assurance today and let us take care of your heating and cooling needs, using the latest in modern HVAC technology.

Duct System, Featured, Load Calculation, Service & Maintenance

Guide to Understanding Manuals J, D, and S

Guide to Understanding Manuals J, D, and S

During an HVAC system installation, there are several important technical elements that must be taken into account to ensure the system is correct for your home and that it will work at its best. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) publishes three technical references that provide all the guidance, procedures, and best practices that your HVAC professional will need for a successful installation. Here is a brief introduction to Manuals J, D, and S, and what they cover.

Manual J Residential Load Calculation

Manual J provides all the technical guidance necessary for a residential load calculation. Each building has a heating or cooling load, which is the amount of heating or cooling needed to keep the inside spaces at the temperature the residents prefer. A load calculation takes into consideration multiple thermal and physical characteristics of the building to determine its load. Once your HVAC professional knows the building's load, he can easily guide you to the type of HVAC equipment that has the functional capacity to satisfy that load.

Manual D Residential Duct Systems

Manual D covers the ductwork in residential settings. The HVAC system ductwork is the network of pipes that directs heated or cooled air from your HVAC equipment to the inside of your home. Ductwork must be properly designed, installed, sealed, and insulated to ensure it carries conditioned air without loss of energy and without wasteful air leaks.

Manual S Residential Heating and Cooling Equipment Selection

Manual S includes detailed technical specifications and performance information on multiple brands of air conditioners and heat pumps. This type of data helps your HVAC pro choose the best equipment for your particular needs. Manual S also provides additional information on equipment sizing, ventilation, and air distribution.

With more than three decades of experience in the HVAC industry, Air Assurance brings top-quality sales, installation, maintenance, and repair to customers in Tulsa and the neighboring communities. Contact us today for more information on Manuals J, D, and S and how these important technical references are used to ensure the best possible HVAC performance in your home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Tang Yan Song/Shutterstock”

HVAC system

How Manuals J and D Save Energy, Ensure Proper HVAC System Design

How Manuals J and D Save Energy, Ensure Proper HVAC System Design

Are you looking at upgrading or replacing your HVAC system? If so, you will want to make sure your system meets a set of energy efficient standards to help keep your energy bills low. The definitive guide for HVAC contractors is a set of standards developed by the ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). Of particular importance for home heating and cooling systems are Manuals J and D.

Manual J - Load Calculations

Manual J provides a set of technical load calculations that HVAC contractors use to determine the energy efficiency of each room in your house, or rather how well each room either holds or loses heat as the seasons change. Expert contractors take into account a range of influencing points, including:

  • Local seasonal temperature averages and extremes

  • How the main-facing areas of your home are affected by the heat and light of the sun

  • Room sizes and window positions

  • Current type of home insulation

  • Your preferred seasonal temperature settings in the home, and

  • The impact of your home lighting and domestic equipment power needs.

Manual D – Ductwork Design

Using the Manual J load calculations, the next stage is to design the system ductwork. This is not a case of big is best, you want to have a system that is just the right size for your home heating and cooling needs. This will minimize the amount of energy needed to keep the indoor temperature at your preferred level. Manual D provides the technical guidance for designing the best ductwork system based on the results of the load calculation work.

Verify HVAC Contractor Qualifications

Check that your intended HVAC contractor has the right skill set by asking about:

  • certifications

  • how they perform Manuals J and D assessments, and

  • what type of reports they provide on these assessments.

Further Information

For expert advice about the use of Manuals J and D to save energy, or any other matters on home heating and cooling, please feel free to contact us at Air Assurance. We have been serving the Broken Arrow area for more than 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Furnaces

Installing a New Furnace? Questions to Ask Your HVAC Contractor

Installing a New Furnace? Questions to Ask Your HVAC Contractor

If you’re planning on installing a new furnace or air conditioner, arm yourself with these questions to ask your HVAC technician before the installation process begins.

  • Are you licensed and insured? Ask for the contractor’s license number and verify it with the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board. Then, ask whether the contractor has liability and worker’s compensation insurance. Odds are the job will go smoothly, but just in case, insurance guarantees you are not responsible for any accident or injury.

  • Are you NATE certified? While you certainly want a contractor who is licensed and insured, take it one step further by asking about North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification. This is the only third-party certification program for HVAC technicians recognized across the industry.

  • Can you give me references and a written bid? Check with references and compare bids from three or more contractors before making your choice.

  • How will you size my new furnace? If the contractor says they plan on installing a new furnace based on square footage alone, look elsewhere. This inaccurate rule of thumb won’t provide the accurate sizing you need for efficient performance and maximum home comfort. Formal calculations are found in Manual J, and that’s what you want your contractor to refer to when sizing your new HVAC equipment.

  • Are there any rebates available? Many companies consider this a hassle. Paperwork, delayed payment, etc can deter them from doing the right thing. Always ask or do your research. WIth the many rebates available currently, you can purchase higher efficiency units at the same cost as the lower efficient units for the same net cost!

  • What energy efficiency should I choose? Discuss all your options with the contractor and figure out your return on investment for more costly but also more efficient furnaces so you can make an informed decision.

  • What about warranties? Compare warranty options between units. Get any guarantees from the contractor in writing.

  • Will someone come and inspect my system? It’s common practice for the contractor to revisit your home about one month after installation to verify the furnace is working correctly.

  • What maintenance should I perform? Taking good care of your furnace after it’s installed will help it perform efficiently and last years longer. Learn about changing the filter and sign up for a maintenance agreement.

Air Assurance is a reputable, affordable contractor in Broken Arrow. To start the process of installing a new furnace, contact us today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Contractor, HVAC system

What ACCA Membership Should Mean to You When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

What ACCA Membership Should Mean to You When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

What ACCA Membership Should Mean to You When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

When hiring an HVAC contractor for upgrades, service or repair, it’s important to investigate references for completed work and professional affiliations, and seek out contractors with special recognition from industry organizations, manufacturers and uninvested third parties. One of the specific affiliations you should place as a prerequisite for your contractor is ACCA membership.What is ACCA?ACCA is an acronym for Air Conditioning Contractors of America, and it is a non-profit entity serving the best interests of homeowners and businesses by working closely with HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) companies to implement and promote industry standards for best practices, energy efficiency and methodologies for installations, repairs and service.ACCA membershipWhen you hire an HVAC contractor with ACCA membership, you’re assured of the following criteria and benefits:

  • ACCA-affiliated contractors stay apprised of the most recent technological advances within the industry, which helps homeowners select systems most suited for their needs and budget.

  • Your contractor employs professional technicians that are properly trained to provide exceptional service, seeking the best methods to perform their duties with the goal of 100-percent customer satisfaction.

  • Your contractor uses ACCA methodologies for performing heat gain/loss calculations (Manual J) to properly size heating and cooling equipment to each individual home and situation. For duct retrofits or new installations, ACCA’s Manual D is followed to the letter for optimal results for energy efficiency and home comfort.

  • ACCA-affiliated contractors know and comply with state and local codes, and are professional companies which carry all required licenses and insurance for your protection.

Above and beyondHVAC contractors with ACCA membership are actively involved in ongoing education for their technicians. They frequently seek out top talent and motivated professionals, and are often required to carry and maintain other professional affiliations and certifications, such as NATE (North American Technician Excellence).Also, request references of completed projects from your list of prospective contractors, and make sure to check each contractor's standing with the Better Business Bureau.At Air Assurance, we're committed to providing our customers the very best service, repair and installation available in the greater Tulsa area, and promote the standards, ethics and methodologies which ACCA membership represents. Call us today for your HVAC needs.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Service & Maintenance

How Manuals J and D Help You Get the Right Size HVAC

How Manuals J and D Help You Get the Right Size HVAC

How Manuals J and D Help You Get the Right Size HVAC

When HVAC professionals size the cooling and heating system for your home, they use software called Manuals J and D. These software applications eliminate the guesswork involved with HVAC sizing. Manual J covers the size of the equipment, while Manual D addresses the ductwork design and its capacity. The longevity of the system, your energy bills and comfort are driven by the correct size for both.Manual J takes into account the conditioning load of your home, which includes these factors:

  • Cubic footage

  • Floorplan layout

  • Number of windows, their orientation to the sun and efficiency

  • Insulation levels in the walls and attic

  • Air infiltration levels

  • Heat-producing appliances and your lighting types

  • Preferred indoor temperatures

  • Number of household members and their ages

  • Landscaping factors.

Once the contractor completes Manual J, he or she moves onto Manual D to determine the ductwork configuration and size you need. The layout of your home makes a difference in ductwork design, especially if you have an open floorplan or high ceilings. Another benefit of starting the HVAC replacement process with the load calculation using Manual J is seeing how improving insulation levels and sealing air leaks would lower the size of the HVAC system you need.Using Manuals J and D eliminates the risk of installing too large or small a system. When they're too small, they won't be able to keep up with the conditioning load during weather extremes. Systems that are too large short-cycle, which means they run for short periods more frequently.Short-cycling causes higher energy bills and more wear and tear on the system. During the summer, air conditioners that run for brief periods won't remove as much humidity or airborne particulates, like pollen, dust and pet dander. In the winter, the heating system won't run long enough to thoroughly warm solid objects in your home, which causes the furnace to turn on more frequently.If you're searching for a new HVAC system and would like to learn more about Manuals J and D, contact Air Assurance. We've provided HVAC services in the Broken Arrow and Tulsa areas since 1985.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Furnaces

Furnace Replacement In Your Future? Right Sizing Is Crucial

Furnace Replacement In Your Future? Right Sizing Is Crucial

A furnace replacement may be one of the more challenging decisions you make as a homeowner, since these systems are complex and involve a number of factors. The right size is critical, not just for energy efficiency, but also for your comfort and the longevity of the system.Before homes were as air tight and energy efficient as they now are, larger equipment was needed to adequately compensate for lower insulation levels and more air infiltration. If you live in an older home and have made any improvements to either the insulation and plugged the air leaks, chances are you need a smaller system than you now have.HVAC contractors use a tool called Manual J to pinpoint the size that you need. This system was developed decades ago and it factors many aspects of your home, including:

  • Cubic footage you need to heat;

  • Layout of your home;

  • Number of windows, their efficiency and exposure to the sun;

  • Insulation levels in the attic and walls;

  • Air infiltration rates;

  • Heat-producing appliances under roof;

  • Outdoor landscaping characteristics;

  • Preferred indoor temperatures; and

  • Age and number of household members.

Once the HVAC contractor finishes the analysis and knows the BTUs you need, he moves onto evaluating your current ductwork, using Manual D.Knowing the precise size you need not only saves you money initially for a furnace replacement, it also saves money over the life of the equipment. When furnaces are too large, they short cycle, which means they turn on and off more frequently. Short cycling increases your energy costs because the more the furnace runs, the more fuel it uses, and a portion of it goes up the flue, which is wasted. Running frequently also increases the wear and tear on all the components inside the system. Your comfort also suffers, since rooms may not thoroughly warm enough.If you'd like more information about furnace replacement, contact Air Assurance. We've provided HVAC services for the Broken Arrow area for more than 30 years.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock