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All over the Internet you can find articles and blogs stating the "facts about refrigerant charge." Most of the information seems to be great except when you read about adding or verifying refrigerant. You may be led to believe the only way refrigerant could be low is if the system is leaking refrigerant. While this may be true for package systems, it is not true for split systems.
In 2010, The California Energy Commission (CEC) required that all split air conditioning systems in climate zones 2 and 8-15, need to have refrigerant levels verified by a HERS rater when the following services are performed by an installer:
The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a letter containing the updated status regarding the CHEERS registry submittal. We can only wait as CHEERS and the CEC work together to resolve the issues with the previous structured platform. We here at Kern Energy Raters are eagerly awaiting the return of CHEERS. We have provided a link to the PDF version below.
If you have any questions about this letter or HERS verifications in general, please head to our forum or give us a call!
The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a proposed procedure to allow HERS raters and HVAC installers to resume refrigerant charge verifications while under 55 degrees Fahrenheit. At the moment the procedure is called "Winter Setup For Standard Charge Measurement Procedure." The process is simple. A cover will be placed over the condenser to restrict the fan effectiveness. This in return will cause a higher separation of pressures to simulate warmer temperatures. While the procedure is not officially in the "Residential Appendix", it is coming soon.
After the deactivation of CHEERS by the California Energy Commission, we were promptly re-certified by CalCERTS for the following certifications:
- Residential Alterations
- Residential New Construction
- Non-Residential (Commercial) Alterations
- Non-Residential (Commercial) New Construction
We are accepting requests for verifications through CalCERTS our new provider. Please visit our Services page for a list of verifications we provide. As always, we will continue to help HVAC installers in our area certify their installations with quality and speed.
With the economy in a slump, we need to cut costs whenever possible. Luckily, there are many ways to save money on your energy bills. Here is a list of cheap and free changes that can be made to save energy:
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents(CFL). (Buy 1/3 wattage CFL or 20% more lumens for same brightness)
- Turn lights off when not in use, even for a few minutes.
- Use motion sensor fixtures and switches for interior & exterior lighting.
- Use lowest wattage bulbs for lights that will be consistently on.
- Consider newer Energy Star Appliances.
The ducts that are part of central heating and cooling systems offer one of the best opportunities to increase your energy efficiency, increase your comfort, and manage your energy bills. Studies indicate that 10%-30% of the heated or cooled air is lost along with the money spent to heat or cool that air through leaky ducts.
Properly sized, installed, and sealed ductwork will make your heating and cooling systems significantly more efficient. Energy loss is not the only concern, however. Duct systems can also involve the comfort of your family, employees, tenants, or customers, as well as your indoor air quality. Testing the ducts will locate leaks or damage and focus repair work in the right areas.
A properly operating heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system will help reduce overall energy use especially during hot summer days when air conditioners are working harder and putting a strain on the electric system and will deliver greater comfort and cleaner air to every room.
Here are some of the best questions to ask the installer of your air conditioning system before he starts:
1. "Are you going to have the City/County issue an HVAC installation permit?"
Installers will conveniently leave out this information if not asked. Don't be fooled, Permits are normally a very small fraction of the total installation costs and will only benefit the homeowner. When a permit is issued it triggers an air duct test, performed by a HERS Rater and a visual inspection of the installed exterior equipment only.
2. "Who will be testing the leakage of my HVAC system?"