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The Correct Method of Sizing Equipment

By admin / in , , /

In 2013 after years of working in the HVAC/R industry, I decided it was time to expose the ugly truth that has plagued this industry for years, that many companies use improper equipment with improper installation and maintenance .

I had a vision and set out to correct this issue and through this vision Phoenix Mechanical was born. Our vision was simple, but had been ignored by this industry since time immortal. Our My vision was to ensure that Equipment and ductwork were sized correctly and then installed and maintained correctly.

I have seen firsthand how consumers paid a high premium for substantial installation and service and were then talked into buying countless features that were not needed and could never work as described.

In the old days when energy cost were cheap equipment was sized by different methods and no two were the same, as a service technician  I would hear terms like “Beer can cold and Luke warm", these were used to describe a units operating condition.  Therefore, if the suction side was beer can cold and the discharge side was lukewarm, it was considered to be operating correctly with the correct charge.

This changed very little over the years and I still see some technicians use this today, it was never effective back then and it is still not effective today.

Another term used to size Heating and cooling equipment is called " Rule of Thumb" this method uses a 400 square foot of living space for every ton of cooling. Example if you had a 2000 square foot home the salesman would say you needed a 5 ton system 2000/400=5.

Unfortunately, this method is used by 98% of all HVAC companies. It has been used so much that a whole industry has been built around it Even the app industry uses it. There are so many apps and calculators designed to size HVAC  equipment and all are based on this principle, How could this be wrong you ask, if so many companies have developed apps and calculators on this principle

The answer to that is simple, very few people know how to use the correct method, which is a complete load calculation of the heat gains and heat losses in a home. The manual J and manual D are the Bible for load calculations for residential HVAC equipment sizing. Sadly, most companies have gone away from using it for the simple fact that it is time consuming. They are looking for a quick sale. No company wants to spend two to four hours or more at a customers home taking measurements and other necessary information and then another two hours at the office doing the calculations. Once this is completed then the company put this in a proposal and still may not get the job, which is the reason behind the 400 square foot rule of thumb. It it is quick and non-effective method and leads to customers complaining of loud blower noises, lack of air flow and other issues brought up by the customer after the sale. The salesman uses the Equipment card, meaning he blames the equipment, saying it was either low cost and that the customer should have went with the top of the line equipment or that the equipment was designed that way to provide higher efficiency.

Rest assured that we will get you the correct equipment for your system at a price you can afford. We also offer financing and other options.

Continue Reading Part II of “The Correct Method of Sizing Equipment".

I have seen first hand how consumers paid a high premium for substantial installation and service and were then talked into buying countless features that were not needed and could never work as described.

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