ACCA provides training at its annual conference and commercial contracting roundtables.
As an association, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) realized that when 13 SEER units became the lowest end for air conditioners and heat pumps, this would have an effect on its members, as well as the HVACR world. However, to say it has zeroed in on specific 13 SEER training for its members would be inaccurate.

"We believe that 13 SEER is but another incremental improvement to equipment efficiency," said Kevin Holland, vice president of business operations and membership. "Equipment with up to 20 SEER has been available for the past half decade, and ACCA continues to promote proper design, equipment selection, and installation, with an eye toward whole-system quality and service. We do this through training at our annual conference, our commercial contracting roundtable, our ongoing technical training in system design, our regular publications, our technical bulletins for members, and our educational brochures for consumers.

"And, perhaps most importantly, we have the quality installation specification that is under development, which will determine if a quality installation is being made, no matter what SEER is being discussed."

However, if a member is looking for 13 SEER-specific training, it has for sale its four-part webinar series produced late last year with The NEWS and the Heating, Airconditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI).

"We also produced a customizable brochure that members can download to give to homeowners on the changes brought by the 13 SEER requirement," said Holland. "We have new distance learning and webinar options being introduced this fall, as well as our regular Manual J and system design training courses, commercial contracting roundtable, and annual conference."

In truth, it is ACCA's belief that the way contractors will thrive in the future, and avoid being commoditized, is to look at each system as a whole, not just a box with a specific rating. In this case, a contractor should be evaluating a home's duct system, looking for leakage, infiltration, attic insulation, CO issues, etc.

"It's not about 13 SEER and 13 SEER only," said Holland. "It's about quality installation and providing what the customer wants or needs."


In regard to new, scheduled, or upgraded training courses available through ACCA, Holland said its "Fundamentals of Residential Load Calculation and System Design" course has been expanded and improved. Jim Herritage, who teaches the class for ACCA, said the course now includes comprehensive training on ACCA's Speed-Sheet spreadsheet software. The class provides continuing education credits for most states that require them, too.

"The first subject covered is whole-house and room-by-room load calculations using Manual J8AE," said Herritage. "Attendees will know it inside and out. They'll learn the principles behind load calculations and why homes become too hot or too cold. Participants will become proficient with ACCA's newest version of Speed-Sheet MJ8AE load calculation software, which is included in the cost of the training."

The next topic is airside design, starting off with Manual S, equipment selection training. According to Herritage, attendees will learn how to select equipment based on its performance at Manual J design conditions for their respective area of the country, and how to derive blower cubic feet per minute and available external static pressure.

Duct design, using Manual D, then will be covered. According to Herritage, ACCA's professional duct design slide rule is included in tuition. The remainder of the class covers Manual T, room air distribution, grille and register selection, and the test.

"Students will leave the class equipped to design a complete system," said Herritage. "They can get started right away doing system design when they get back to the office."

Included in the tuition cost of $695 for ACCA members, $795 for nonmembers, are copies of the entire ACCA residential system design library (Manuals J-8 abridged, Manual S, Manual D, and Manual T), and a copy of the ACCA Speed-Sheet load calculation spreadsheet for Microsoft Excel.

ACCA said attendees should bring a laptop computer with them. The class is designed for contractors and their sales staffs, wholesalers, utility personnel, licensing and code officials, energy commission officials, "and anyone else interested in the proper application of residential HVAC system design," said Herritage.

Class sessions will be held:

  • Sept. 18-21, 2006, Austin, Texas

  • Sept. 25-28, 2006, Atlanta

  • Nov. 6-9, Jacksonville, Fla.

  • Nov. 13-16, Augusta, Ga.

  • Dec. 4-7, 2006, Columbia, S.C.

  • Jan. 15-18, 2007, Clearwater, Fla.

    "This is a comprehensive class, and participants will be able to hit the ground running when they get back home," said Herritage.

    At press time, ACCA did not have its online class schedule completed. To learn more about the training ACCA offers, visit, or contact Chris Hoelzel at 703-824-8851;

    Publication date: 09/04/2006