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Manual J: Does Your Technician Know It Inside Out?

Every time you have a new heating or cooling system installed in your home, you should make sure that your technician doesn’t make a single move until he or she performs a Manual J heating load calculation. Without one, it’s nearly impossible to select the right-sized HVAC equipment for your home.

And if your equipment isn’t the right size, you’ll likely end up with a system that can’t perform, which will result in high energy bills and poor home comfort, not to mention a low return on your investment.

But with a Manual J calculation, you can lock in all of the benefits that a new heating or cooling system afford, such as optimal home comfort, lower energy bills, and a high return on investment.

So just why is a Manual J calculation so important?

No two homes are identical, even if their design is the same. That’s because one home’s insulation levels may be better, while the other home’s seal is airtight. Manual J takes these differences into consideration, in order to select the system capacity that is needed to meet the load.

A Manual J calculation takes factors such as the following into consideration:

    • Insulation levels
    • Air-sealing measures
    • Window location and efficiency
    • Heat-generating devices and activities
    • Home occupant preferences

Specifically, Manual J includes three separate load calculations:

    • Heating load: The amount of heat your home must receive during the coldest days of the winter
    • Sensible cooling load: The amount of cooled air your home must receive during the hottest days of the summer
    • Latent cooling load: The amount of moisture your air conditioner must remove during the most humid days of the summer

For optimal results, a home’s cooling load must include both cooling load calculations.

Make sure your HVAC contractor is qualified to select and install your next heating and cooling system, and ensure that Manual J heating and cooling load calculation is included in the process. For more expert advice, contact Wolff Mechanical. We are happy to walk you through our selection and installation process, which includes using the industry-standard Manual J calculation. Serving homeowners in the Phoenix Valley area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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