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THE HVACR CONTRACTOR’S WEEKLY NEWSMAGAZINE SINCE 1926

JUNE 12,2006 EXCERPTS

 

Fear of Residential Load Calcs

Why Do Some Contractors Steer Clear of Things They Should be Doing?

By B. Checket-Hanks

Of The NEWS Staff

 


Apparently,

Contractors who do not perform residential load calculations would prefer to remain anonymous. Whether they think they really should be doing load calcs, or whether they simply don’t want to hear from people who think they should be, the respondents to our NEWS online poll largely did not identify themselves if they didn’t perform load calculations on residential jobs. Almost 38 percent of those who responded to the informal poll did not use any form of load calculation, and others implied they were not using industry-recognized procedures. It is likely that many more HVAC contractors did not wish to reveal the fact that they are not performing standard load calculations.

     There are many reasons for contractors not to do them. “ The methods are too complicated “, “I can’t do it without a computer”, “I can’t take time to go to the classes”,

“I don’t have the time”.

      “The load calculation is an unpaid consulting task and does not have a retail market” said Fred Kobie, owner of Kobie Kooling, Fort Myers, Fla. “ The calculation is an option on all of our replacement work, bit it’s rarely selected ( by the customer).

       “ When I do my load calculations prior to the sale, I never leave the information behind unless customers are willing to pay $300 for the calculations” said John Dubecky of Climate-Tech Inc.

 

“Rarely do residential consumers link problems such as uncomfortable levels of humidity, high utility bills, high dust levels, and/or poor indoor air quality to a sub-standard design, improper equipment selection, or sub-par installation.”

    

“Lack of understanding causes consumers to consider first-price only when making purchasing decisions about HVAC equipment.”

      “Contractors who serve first-price-only consumers, sadly, fail the customer and the HVAC industry.”

     “ Contractors think that since the competition isn’t doing a load calculation, they don’t have to either. Contractors are fearful they will lose a customer on price considerations.

 

However, it is the price-focused contractor who is the lowest common denominator, who misleads about quality and performance, and who destroys the image of the HVAC industry”.

In the End, it is the consumer who is the driving force. He pays the bills and receives the benefits. Ultimately,

What it would take is an educated consumer who will not be satisfied with poor performance. Consumers are becoming more educated and more demanding. Informed consumers are increasingly less tolerant of hot and cold rooms, damp or dry living conditions, or noisy, drafty heating and cooling systems. Consumers do not want low cost; they want high value; which may come at a slightly higher price.”  
It it would take is an educated consumer who will not be satisfied with poor performance. Consumers are becoming more educated and more demanding. Informed consumers are increasingly less tolerant of hot and cold rooms, damp or dry living conditions, or noisy, drafty heating and cooling systems. Consumers do not want low cost; they want high value; which may come at a slightly higher price.”  

 

What is a load calculation and why is it so important?

A load calculation determines what the proper size system is for your specific home. Completed by your dealer, it factors in a number of criteria used to determine what size components you should include as part of your total comfort system, things like square footage, number of windows, and year-round weather concerns.

A load calculation is important so that your system operates at maximum efficiency, with optimum performance. Most homes have systems that are oversized, so you end up paying more than you should to heat and cool your home. Also, systems that are improperly sized tend to cycle too quickly or too slowly, and that can lead to maintenance problems, uneven temperatures, and an inability to control humidity. A properly sized system based on a correct load calculation can help ensure you enjoy long-lasting, reliable comfort whatever the season.