ARLINGTON, Va. - The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) and its Florida chapter suggested changes to the Supplement of the 2006 Florida Energy Efficiency Code sections 13-607.1.ABC.1 and 13-608.1.ABC.1 dealing with equipment sizing and selection. The ACCA-proposed language was accepted and is anticipated to be effective by year-end 2006.

"The proposed modifications help clarify the existing code so that contractors and code officials can better apply the requirements," commented Glenn Hourahan, P.E., ACCA's vice president for research and technology.

ACCA-Florida members Tommy Castellano, Castellano's Air Conditioning & Heating and chairman of the chapter; Ken Bodwell, Innovative Service Solutions and treasurer; and Kevin Sharkey, Forward Electric and Air Conditioning, were instrumental in developing ACCA's suggestions.

"One of our concerns," said Castellano, "was that the existing code could lead to unintended oversizing of HVAC equipment. The additions we suggested specifically brought latent considerations back into the equipment-selection picture. Added sentences also clearly instruct contractors and code enforcers to use Florida-specific outdoor design conditions in their equipment selections and not the ARI-published efficiency rating points, which are representative of more northern climate zones. Equipment manufacturers agree with this positioning and readily make application information available so that appropriate equipment sizing and selection can be undertaken."

ACCA's comments also clarify that a building load and a resultant system load (after equipment is selected and the system designed) are not the same thing and that equipment sizing and selection must be based on the system load (includes ventilation, duct gains/losses, etc.). In addition, ACCA wording clarifies that ventilation requirements are not to be used as infiltration loads.

"We applaud the state of Florida's efforts to reduce energy consumption," concluded Castellano. "Our goal is to make sure that changes to the code are clear for both contractors and code-enforcement officials and do not compromise occupant comfort or building efficiency. The modifications we suggested are consistent with the intent of the Florida Energy Efficiency Code and are fully compliant with ACCA's Manual J®."

Publication date: 07/24/2006