ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) has launched a new education initiative — a certificate program, “Residential HVAC Design for Quality Installation,” which ACCA said offers a thorough grounding in the concepts required to properly design a residential air conditioning system. The certificate program is available online and via an in-person class.

ACCA noted that Quality Installation (QI) of residential HVAC is built on the fundamentals of sound system design using American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved standards such as ACCA Manual J (Load Calculation) and ACCA Manual D (Residential Duct Design). QI requirements, as outlined in ANSI/ACCA Standard 5 (the HVAC Quality Installation Specification), are being incorporated into codes, state and local government rules, utility rebate programs, federal incentive programs (including Energy Star for New Homes), and others.

“Builders and homeowners expect HVAC systems to be installed according to QI principles,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO. “But QI starts with the design process — you can’t install it right if you don’t design it right.”

Modern HVAC system design is a complex process, necessitating the use of software to be fully compliant with codes and best practices. “But if you don’t fully understand the concepts and principles of Manual J and Manual D, you will not get software to produce an accurate load calculation,” said Stalknecht. “This class provides you the knowledge you need to understand Manual J, Manual D, and the HVAC QI Specification.”

The certificate is currently available through three methods:

1. A fully online class that features over 18 hours of video training, 28 interactive exams, and a final exam that must be taken and passed successfully within 180 days of enrollment (and once it is passed, the learner will be able to access his or her certificate and transcript online). Developed by noted technical trainer Jack Rise, who has created many successful computer video training modules for ACCA, learners who sign up for this class will be able to ask questions of the instructor as they go along. The fee for this class starts at $495 per learner.

2. An in-person, three-day class, held a few times a year at ACCA’s headquarters near Washington, D.C., which covers the same material in an intensive format for those who prefer live interaction with an instructor and fellow students in a small class experience. The fee for this class starts at $895 per learner. The next class will be held Nov. 6-8.

3. For those seeking to train a larger number of personnel, ACCA also offers a number of private training options, where the association will arrange to bring an in-person class to your facility. Fees vary for this method.

The certificate is awarded to those who successfully complete one of the three options above. Because of constantly changing standards in the HVAC industry, the certificate will expire five years from its date of issuance and must be renewed.

“This is ACCA’s first ‘official’ certificate program, but it will not be our last, as ACCA is committed to professional learning that helps contractors and industry professionals exceed their customers’ expectations while installing and maintaining first-class, efficient, and effective systems," said Kevin Holland, ACCA senior vice president for Business Operations & Membership. “Future certificates already under development include Residential Equipment Selection, Light Commercial HVAC Design, and more.”

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Publication date: 10/22/2012