Enhanced Role for Energy Raters in Validating HVAC Quality Installation Requirements for Version 3 of ENERGY STAR Homes

July 27th, 2010 - Posted by RESNET under Energy Efficiency, Heating & Cooling, RESNET News, RESNET Notes, RESNET Notes - July 2010

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), EPA and RESNET have jointly agreed on an enhanced role for Home Energy Raters in validating HVAC Quality Installation requirements for Version 3 ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes.  EPA and RESNET believe that additional checks are needed to ensure that the HVAC systems installed in ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes meet program requirements and that Raters can and should play an important role in this process.
Based on this agreement, raters will be asked to validate that:

  • Key data inputs related to the Manual J sizing calculations are consistent with conditions in the home (e.g., design temperatures, home orientation, conditioned floor area, number of bedrooms, window specifications, number of skylights, insulation R-values);
  • Review the contractor’s Manual J checklist to confirm that the installed equipment does not exceed the size limitation specified in the Manual J calculation;
  • The correct equipment is installed and properly matched by referring to the AHRI web site;
  • There is adequate air flow across the heat exchanger/coil;
  • The contractor’s refrigeration calculations are accurate by referring to an applicable Pressure Temperature chart;
  • The home’s HVAC controls operate properly and
  • The number of supply and return grills match the HVAC contractor’s Testing and Balance Report.

Except for the adequate air flow task, all of the other tasks are already completed as part of the rating or are easy for a certified energy rater to complete.

Despite this additional validation being performed by raters, the accuracy of the calculations and all of the requirements of the HVAC system quality installation contractor checklist remain the exclusive responsibility of the HVAC contractor.  Home energy raters are not to be held liable for the HVAC contractors work.  However, raters will be allowed to deny the ENERGY STAR label to a home when discrepancies are found as part of their validation of elements of the Contractor checklist listed above.

EPA is now incorporating these new requirements into the ‘HVAC System Quality Installation Rater Checklist.’  In addition, training on these new requirements will be provided as part of the ENERGY STAR for Homes Version 3 training sessions that will be required for every rater to attend by the end of 2011.

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  • Chris Folse

    Has anyone found a good economical ERV? I’m sure there is a balance between quality and price point that makes these more bearable for builders to install. Anyone found a good source they’re satisfied with?

    Thanks,
    Chris

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