Does sizing fall within Energy Star standards? 

AC cooling equipment should be sized at 95-115% of Design Total Heat Gain, or the next nominal size that is available to satisfy the latent and sensible requirements.

Heat pump cooling equipment should be sized at 100-140% of Design Total Heat Gain, or the next nominal size that is available to satisfy the latent and sensible requirements unless a larger size is dictated by the heating equipment selection.

Listed Output Heat Capacity must be sized at 100-140% of Design Total Heat Loss, or next nominal size unless a larger size is dictated by the cooling equipment selection.

Sizing HVAC systems using ACCA Manual S for energy efficient air conditioning and heating

AHRI vs OEM Expanded Performance Data:

Manufacturers of heating and cooling equipment are responsible for testing and certifying the performance of their products.  The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) produces standards for rating such equipment, but data published in AHRI product directories should not be used.  The test conditions simulate 80 F indoor and 95 F outdoor design.

Energy Star uses 75 F indoor design temperature.  And second, 95 F outdoor is a very small geographical location.  Minnesota can have an 87 F outdoor while Arizona uses 108 F outdoor summer design temperature.  Sizing your equipment using an AHRI certificate will NOT work.

Cooling equipment must be selected using the OEM data which offers a range of performance at different outdoor and indoor conditions.  AHRI certification data are based on a different set of conditions than the ACCA Manual J indoor design conditions, and AHRI data also does not list sensible or latent capacity.

What is the recommended CFM and static pressure based on OEM performance data?  OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer and must be collected by and selected by the installing contractor and must be supplied to the HVAC designer.

Several items from the Manual S are used in the Manual D input for design air flow.  The heating mode looks at the temperature rise requirement (Manual S section 2-6) while the cooling load looks at the air flow associated with the selected equipment's capacity (Manual S section 3-11).

Why do Energy Star, LEED CALGreen and many permit offices insist on Manual S

sizing for your heating and cooling equipment?  Because Manual S equipment

selection procedures have a proven track record over many decades just like the

Manual J.  If your HVAC designer uses proper equipment selection techniques:

An oversized unit cycles on and off continuously resulting in increased utility bills

and wear and tear.  Heating and cooling equipment based on properly sized equipment

will run better which will save both money and energy!

Why select Savoy Engineering Group for your ACCA Manual S calculations?

  • Ensure ACCA Manual S selection sizing limitations are followed. We understand the HVAC requirements and theory behind ACCA Manual J, S & D
  • We are expert HVAC WrightSoft designers
  • We have been the leading Manual J, S & D providers in the HVAC industry since 2005!
  • We understand the ONLY way to have the best HVAC system is to use proven design standards
  • The owner is certified by ACCA in Manual J, S and D(ComfortU HVAC Certification) 

Energy Star proven method
Watch our What is ACCA Manual S YouTube Video

what is MANUAL S HVAC sizing?

ACCA Manual s residential equipment selection

The 2nd Step in the quality hvac design process

Developed by Hank Rutkowski

So you are getting ready to replace an old HVAC or perhaps you are building your new dream home.  Before making that purchase or even selecting the installing contractor, there are three important factors to investigate to ensure optimum comfort in your home for many years to come.  This webpage addresses the 2nd step - ACCA Manual S HVAC equipment sizing developed by Hank Rutkowski.

Energy Star, LEED, CALGreen and many permit offices further require that once an HVAC designer has applied ACCA Manual J to determine the heating and cooling needs of the home, then the designer needs to ensure the physical equipment sizing based on the manufacturer OEM data for the home's specific design conditions.  DO NOT use the AHRI certificate (A/C capacity results at 80 F indoor & 95 F outdoor) to size HVAC equipment.

What is HVAC residential design?

The ACCA Manual J/S/D residential HVAC design is the most precise, accurate and proven procedure for designing residential HVAC systems in the world.  Developed by Air Conditioning Contractors of America, the Manual J load calculation, Manual S HVAC equipment selection and Manual D residential duct design process have all gone through rigorous ANSI certification process.

Residential HVAC code requirements

All new residential and multifamily dwelling construction projects that are three stories or less, with independent mechanical systems within the dwelling unit, must demonstrate compliance with ACCA Manual J, S & D.  Additions and alterations also require code compliance if the mechanical contractor is installing new heating and cooling equipment.

ACCA Manual S HVAC Equipment Selection Process:

Choose properly sized heating and cooling equipment that will maintain the required design comfort conditions calculated by ACCA Manual J.  Also select equipment that has enough blower power to move the required amount of air through the duct system.  An understanding of how to interpret the manufacturers equipment (OEM) data is essential to correct HVAC sizing.

Most HVAC equipment is NOT selected following Manual S calculations.  OEM expanded performance data should be used to select properly sized equipment.

Be assured that if your HVAC contractor does not do a Manual S calculation, there is

a good chance that your unit will fail to provide the comfort that a properly sized unit

will deliver.  We often see inventory clearance advertisements in the local paper.  What

are the odds that the unit sitting in the shop on clearance matches your home's exact

sensible and latent needs much less the tonnage?  You may save a little money initially,

but you pay for it in comfort and efficiency for the life of the unit.

Residential HVAC sizing has a substantial impact on the efficiency and operating costs of the HVAC.  During the selection process, make sure your heating and air conditioning can meet the following criteria:


The total cooling load is determined by the thermal load calculation.  The summer heat gain is made up of the sensible load (outdoor temperature) and the latent load (humidity).  Cooling equipment capacity shouldn't exceed the total load by more than 15% according to ACCA Manual S.

The sensible load is the amount of actual cooling and heating required.  The latent load (dehumidification) is the amount of moisture the system must remove.  The better the A/C is sized to the cooling load, the longer the unit runs on the hottest days.  The longer the unit operates the more moisture it removes from the air.  Less moisture typically makes the home more comfortable.

The heating load (heat loss) is determined by the thermal load calculation.  PER ACCA Manual S, furnace size should stay within 140% of the peak heating load requirement.


CFM (cubic feet per minute) needed to meet the volume of air needed after all the sources of pressure loss, such as duct fittings, filters and other accessories.

Please watch our "What is ACCA Manual S equipment sizing?" Video further down the page!

Certified by ACCA in Manual J load calculations

What is Manual S?  ACCA Manual S is HVAC sizing based on the manufacturer's OEM data for your outdoor and indoor design conditions so your A/C is 100-115% of the cooling load and the furnace is 100-140% of the heating requirement.  Manual S shows how to select and size heating and cooling equipment to meet loads for a particular home, which are based on local climate and home construction specifics. Contractors in Miami, Phoenix, and Seattle - all extremely different climates - would never use the same equipment and expect the same results. Manual S provides sizing an in-depth explanations of how to use manufacturer's performance data.

ACCA Manual S® - Residential Equipment Selection

What is ACCA Manual S References:

ACCA Manual J, S & D YouTube Channel

Everything you ever wanted to know about residential Manual J load calculations, Manual S equipment verification and Manual D duct design - videos range from simple to technical

Be sure to check out our webpages on What is Manual J? and What is Manual D? - It will help you understand the Manual J, S & D Process

HVAC Designs for Compliance with ACCA Manual S

2012 International Residential Code (IRC) clarifies the existing requirements for sizing HVAC equipment:  "Heating and cooling equipment shall be sized in accordance with ACCA Manual S based on building loads calculated in accordance with ACCA Manual J."

Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual S, Residential Heating and Cooling Equipment Selection, provides clear instructions for interpreting and applying original equipment manufacturer (OEM) expanded performance data to select equipment that meets application requirements (heating, sensible or latent cooling) for the applied design conditions used to calculate loads with ACCA Manual J, Residential Load Calculation.

In addition, Manual S sets equipment sizing limits.  These sizing limits ensure that equipment capacities meet the minimum needs of occupants while preventing the problems associated with oversizing.  The size of the cooling equipment must be based on the same temperature and humidity conditions that were used to calculate the HVAC load calculation.

Nationwide Manual J, S & D Services - Call 801-949-5337