Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are essential for comfort in homes and businesses. In order to pick the best system for your needs, you need to consider a number of factors such as size, efficiency ratings, and price. We always recommend a Trane® when it comes to the equipment itself, however even if you pick the best system available, it won’t do its job properly if it is not sized and installed correctly. At SS&B Heating & Cooling, we recommend using a process known as Manual J Load Calculations to make sure your system is right for your home or business.

What Is Manual J Load Calculation?

Manual J Load Calculation is a process developed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). It takes into account several key factors when determining what size HVAC system is needed for a given space. This includes the amount of insulation in walls and ceilings; window type, orientation, and size; floor area; ceiling height; local climate; equipment location; ductwork design; shading from trees or other buildings; and much more. A full list of all the factors can be found on ACCA's website. After all these factors are taken into consideration and analyzed against ACCA’s guidelines, a “load” number will be generated that indicates what size HVAC system should be installed in order to meet the needs of that particular space. This process ensures that the HVAC system is perfectly sized for the space it will be used in so that it can run efficiently and cost-effectively while still meeting the indoor comfort needs of occupants.

In contrast to Manual J Load Calculations, most heating and air conditioning companies use some form of a square footage formula to determine what size HVAC system they should install. This method does not take into account things like insulation levels or window sizes—factors that can drastically affect how well an HVAC system performs in a given environment. The square footage method results in 9 out of 10 systems being improperly sized and incorrectly installed. An undersized unit will not adequately heat or cool the area it’s intended for; conversely, an oversized unit may lead to excessive energy costs as well as increased wear-and-tear on the system itself due to short cycling (wherein the unit turns off shortly after turning on). Unfortunately, more times than not, the system is oversized. So, in addition to the above, it also means that person could have purchased a smaller unit! That’s why we always use Manual J Load Calculations when we’re building out a new HVAC system for our customers so that they get the best possible performance from their chosen unit.

Installing a new heating and air conditioning system isn’t something you want to do multiple times because it’s expensive and time-consuming! That’s why proper sizing is so important—you want your system to last as long as possible while running efficiently at all times. At SS&B Heating & Cooling, we always recommend using Manual J Load Calculations when selecting an HVAC system because this method takes into account all relevant factors rather than just relying on square footage formulas which often result in poorly performing systems with high energy bills attached. Yes, our way may take a little longer, but you know it’s done right. When an HVAC system is done correctly with Manual J calculations you can rest assured knowing that you have made the best decision for your home or business's heating and air conditioning needs, plus you'll have perfect indoor temperatures no matter what time of year it is!