HVAC Design and Grading Services

Comfort complaints are common in the Southeast. Let us help you verify things were done correctly before closing with HVAC Design Services.

Building performance inspector grades HVAC system

Avoid Comfort

Qualify for More
45L Tax Credits

Lower Your
HERS Scores

HVAC Design and Rating Services

Poorly designed & installed HVAC systems are common. In fact, studies show that 50% have improper airflow, and 60-80% have improper refrigerant charge. 

Our residential HVAC design services are made to help homebuilders avoid comfort callbacks and ensure your systems are designed and installed properly. 

Manual J & S Design Review

Total Duct Leakage Testing

Blower Fan
Air Flow Testing

Blower Fan
Watt Draw Testing

Refrigerant Charge Testing

Building performance technician from Southern Energy Management performs HVAC Grading services
Diagram of HVAC Grading process with HERS Rating
Image Credit: RESNET

ANSI RESNET / ACCA / ICC Standard 310

HVAC grading is typically performed in tandem with high performance building programs, such as HERS Ratings or ENERGY STAR Certification.  This allows homebuilders to cost effectively improve HERS Index Scores & qualify homes for the 45L tax credits.  

There are 3 HVAC installation grade levels (l, ll & lll).  Grade I installation can improve the HERS Index score by up to 6 points. 

ENERGY STAR home builders will enjoy a new streamlined certification option through HVAC Grading (Track A).  This pathway does not require the use of a credentialed HVAC contractor or completion of the HVAC commissioning checklist.  We take care of all that for you! 


HVAC Grading can be performed in lieu of using a credentialed HVAC Contractor. This opens your options for selecting the contractor of choice.

  • SEER- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating: Higher SEER means more efficient air conditioning on your heat pump.  Our market code minimum is 14 SEER.  Look for a 15 SEER or higher if you want an efficient heat pump! 
  • HSPF – Heating Seasonal Performance Factor: The higher the HSPF, the more efficient the heat pump.  Our market code minimum is 8.2 HSPF.  Look for a 9 HPSF or higher if you want an efficient heating system.  Contrary to common sense in our hot humid climate, a better HSPF will yield more annual savings than a better SEER. 
  • AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency: The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the furnace.  Our market code minimum is 80 AFUE.  Look for a 92 AFUE or better if you want an efficient furnace!

MERV is the industry standard for air filter performance.  The higher the MERV rating, the more particulates the filter can pull out of the air, which leads to cleaner indoor air.

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