Design and Installation of HVAC Systems is Critical for Energy Efficiency

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Making an investment in the latest and greatest energy-efficient HVAC equipment is a smart move, because it can save you lots of money in the long run. But to gain these benefits, it is absolutely critical for the HVAC system to be designed correctly and the equipment properly installed.

Duct leakage, refrigerant undercharge/overcharge, and flawed designs using oversized equipment with undersized ductwork are just some of the problems that can seriously degrade the efficiency of the HVAC system.

The importance of quality installation (QI) is highlighted in a new report from the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which examined the effects of poor installation on the performance of HVAC systems–in this case, heat pumps. The researchers found that improper design and installation practices can potentially increase energy use by nearly a third! That’s a big percentage that will add up in extra costs year after year.

The NIST report caught the attention of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), a non-profit association serving the indoor environmental and energy services business community. The ACCA has long been an advocate for what’s known in the business as the “QI Standard.”

“This report quantifies what many industry experts already know – profound efficiency losses occur when HVAC equipment is not installed properly,” said ACCA president and CEO Paul Stalknecht. “This report should help consumers understand why it is important to hire a contractor who follows the QI Standard. When consumers start asking for QI from every contractor, it will raise the performance bar in the industry, and result in significant energy savings while increasing occupant comfort.”

If you enjoy diving into the technical details of HVAC systems (like we do at Daffan Cooling & Heating), the NIST report is available for free download at this link.

Also, the ACCA has a great resource page covering the standards for designing, installing, maintaining and repairing HVAC system. Several papers (in both English and Spanish) are available for complimentary download. The best consumer is an educated consumer, so take advantage of these excellent resources!

ACCA Quality Standards