RE: Load Calculation + Equipment Selection in Residential: Why or why not?
Curious how many residential companies are currently working with ACCA’s guidelines on system design. Is there a way to remain competitive while the appropriate amount of time to do things right, especially in the case of retrofitting? It seems like there’s so many variables at play, some which I’m blissfully ignorant to.
How does your company approach this?
Great question. This is something I often struggle with because the customers often tend to be focused on the wrong aspects (such as the cost only).
I personally always do a quick ManJ. I also try to educate the customer on the “true” cost of a system that’s installed incorrectly. I’ve always been disgruntled about “Free” quotes, however they’re kind of a necessity where I’m from, but I believe that it requires more effort that I deserve to be compensated for.
I will typically give them pricing on my free estimates based on the existing system (as that’s what my competitors are doing). I then spend time educating them on the way it should be done, and on how to resolve other issues as well at install time. I’ve currently been interested in the Home Performance side and plan on trying to push (for lack of a better term) into a paid estimate that includes blower-door testing (as this is required for a true Manual J to be accurate).
Part of the problem I see is that the sales process needs to slowed down (very hard to do when they’re AC’s already dead). I also like to leave the ACCA – Residential Quality Installation Checklist document with the customer, so that they can assess what the other companies are offering and compare to what I offer.
When I know that I’ve got the contract then I will tend to take the further required steps such as Manual S/T/D.