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DIYerIT 07-30-2011 11:23 AM

Load Calculation Fee - HVAC Contractors Please
I have a property in the Northeast where I recently had an a/c unit replaced because it wasn't cooling. This was an older unit that couldn't keep up with the hotter days so it shut itself down. The HVAC contractor decided on and installed the same size unit but that too is not cooling the house. Now, as the homeowner, I'm having to buy a larger unit that this contractor now is sure is the proper size.

From this forum and other online resources, it appears that, even with a replacement, it's important that the contractor do a load calculation to insure the proper sized unit is installed. Given this, I requested that this contractor do a load calculation, given that he did not do one the first time around, to insure the correct sized unit is now installed. He will do the load calculation but for a price.

Given all this, my question to professional HVAC contractors is whether or not you customary charge your clients for a load calculation and if you would charge your client for one in this situation? If so, what would you typically charge? This contractor has quoted me for two separate costs - one for a simple calculation and one for a complete calculation.

Thank you.

beenthere 07-30-2011 01:09 PM

The cost/price to do a load calc is included in my quote to do the install/swap out. And yes, one should be one even on a swap out. Price varies with the house. The bigger the house, or more rooms, the more it cost. You can do your own, for 50 bucks.

Did the contractor change out both the outdoor an d indoor unit? Or just the outdoor unit.

The problem is probably not the size, but some other factor. Indoor coil was/is dirty. Return or supply duct is leaking, or not connected somewhere.

REP 07-30-2011 04:39 PM

Six years ago when I was still in the field I charged one hundred dollars for the calc.If they gave me the job I credited that figure back to them.
A short form calc isn't worth much so You shouldn't go that way.I could have given a short form calc in 5 minutes and like I said that only got me to the ball park but not the section or seat in that ball park.
Sizing the equipment to your exact house is something that everyone should have done.It is the number one way to not only save the most amount on the cost of energy but also the most sure way to have comfort.
The next thing that everyone should do is figure out how to get that expensive conditioned air into the house ecconomically.You do that with a duct calc.Called a manuel "D".
There are other calcs that tell you the size,type and locations for registers and grilles for example but so far only a few in a nation of millions do those calcs.Usually for the very intelligent people that are designing smart homes.

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