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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,311

    Manual J: Are we doing things backwards?

    Instead of sizing the A/C and heat to the house how about designing the house to work with the HVAC? How about a building code that limits HVAC units to a certain size per sq ft and have the builder/insulator design/fix the house so that it will cool properly? Let the builder decide if they would rather get rid of the black roof, huge west windows, or insulate more/seal properly. This also would force the units to be installed properly instead of oversizing to cover up installation problems. For the heat side the furnace will almost always be oversized just to get the blower capacity needed. I've never seen a situation where the the house cooled fine but the furnace couldn't handle the heating load.

    In our area the limit could be something like this:
    New construction: 1,000 sqft per ton (this isn't unreasonable in our area for properly insulated/sealed house)
    Existing homes built after 1990: 800sqft per ton
    Homes built 1970 - 1990: 650 sq ft per ton
    Homes pre-1970: 500sq ft per ton.

    Lets start fixing houses and correcting installation issues instead of just sticking in a bigger A/C to cool things off.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    Been hitting the sauce a bit today eh?
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,664
    My neck of the woods they are pushing blower door tests on every new house with a % leak allowed, duct blast minimum on remo and c/o

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    479
    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    Instead of sizing the A/C and heat to the house how about designing the house to work with the HVAC?
    At this point you would have to get involved with a "green" builder to go in that direction.

    Maybe now that the upper middle class has had their collective ass handed to them the tide will turn away from McMansions toward more sensible homes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    385
    Because some people want black roofs and huge west windows?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
    Posts
    2,179
    Why not require the HVAC conractor & building contractor make the system work with the house. In other words the building contractor has to provide enoough room to get properly sized duct to all areas of the house after the HVAC contractor has designed a duct system that will actually work.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold mo
    Posts
    3,969
    I think it's a great idea. Look at refrigeration as an example. You get a service call on a refrigerator that has cooling problems, condensate, won't stop running etc...., you don't recommend they replace the condenser, compressor & evap coil with larger ones; you replace the door gaskets! Also, some of the most cost effective ways to deliver comfort to a home is to air seal & resolve insulation issues. There are some companies out there that have sucessfully changed their business model to include this "whole house" approach to comfort & energy use, and some of those pro's are members of this site.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,098
    That is a great idea, but this is for the time being at lest America a free country! If you want lots of glass you can have it, if you don't mind paying the power company every month go for it. Same goes if I want a 68 Chevelle that gets 4 miles to a gallon I can and that is why I love America. What would help more than regulations is to have craftsman in the trade and get rid of HACKS!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    34
    Here is the problem: the builder would say they are installing great windows, great insulation, and we put in our smaller unit. Then our system doesn't cool---we go out to find windows that have a different NFRC rating than design, less insulation than designed, or spotty insulation (which why put any in at all if you aren't going to do it right..but that's a whole different thread). We tell the homeowner, they don't believe us. The house isn't cooling so it MUST be the air conditioners fault.

    Oh wait...that already happens.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    12,650

    A building code?

    Are you effin kidding me!

    If I want to build and live in a house that requires 500K BTU's to heat and 30 tons of A/C to cool - how is that anybody's business but mine?

    OK: Don't let the builders cheat people or build unsafe houses. But past that, and especially if I build my Own House - hands off: mind your own business. I'll run my own life. Thanks, but no thanks.

    PHM
    ------




    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    Instead of sizing the A/C and heat to the house how about designing the house to work with the HVAC? How about a building code that limits HVAC units to a certain size per sq ft and have the builder/insulator design/fix the house so that it will cool properly? Let the builder decide if they would rather get rid of the black roof, huge west windows, or insulate more/seal properly. This also would force the units to be installed properly instead of oversizing to cover up installation problems. For the heat side the furnace will almost always be oversized just to get the blower capacity needed. I've never seen a situation where the the house cooled fine but the furnace couldn't handle the heating load.

    In our area the limit could be something like this:
    New construction: 1,000 sqft per ton (this isn't unreasonable in our area for properly insulated/sealed house)
    Existing homes built after 1990: 800sqft per ton
    Homes built 1970 - 1990: 650 sq ft per ton
    Homes pre-1970: 500sq ft per ton.

    Lets start fixing houses and correcting installation issues instead of just sticking in a bigger A/C to cool things off.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    McQueeney, Texas
    Posts
    3,881
    I'm all for more of these darn people to quit telling us how we live, think, eat, drink, breathe, and do with what is suppose to be ours.
    We've been invaded enough.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,311
    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    Are you effin kidding me!

    If I want to build and live in a house that requires 500K BTU's to heat and 30 tons of A/C to cool - how is that anybody's business but mine?

    OK: Don't let the builders cheat people or build unsafe houses. But past that, and especially if I build my Own House - hands off: mind your own business. I'll run my own life. Thanks, but no thanks.

    PHM
    ------
    Good idea, why have the government involved at all? Let private utility companies provide incentives for downsizing equipment and reducing peak energy demand if it is in their best interest to do so. Let lenders determine if a house is built well enough for them to write a mortgage on it. Why require expensive licensing for the HVAC trade? Customers hire based on price and/or contractor reputation, not if they paid their license fees to the state every year. If a customer is gonna hire a hack, a state license requirement doesn't protect them. Let consumer demand and private industry regulate instead of the government. We all know how well the government runs anything they touch..

    Yeah, I'm a Libertarian

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold mo
    Posts
    3,969
    This is turning into an ARP thread.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

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