• Adrienne Gould-Choquette, P.E.

How to Use the Cooling Load (Sanity) Check Calculator

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This video shows how to use the Cooling Load (Sanity) Check Calculator.


You can access all our calculators on the HVAC Calculators page or by the dropdown menu. The calculators are listed alphabetically by category.


This Cooling Load Sanity Check Calculator is a valuable tool for architects, engineers, building owners, and developers to use in pre-design meetings and during the design phase as a "sanity check" for your load calculation.


As a caveat, the calculator is not intended to replace a load calculation. Instead, it gives an insight into the range of what other buildings of the same type have historically installed for refrigeration, occupancy, and lights and equipment. These estimates do not consider any of the standard inputs used in a load calculation, for example, building materials' efficiencies, geographic location, building orientation, and the number of windows. When using this calculator, consider that as buildings become more efficient and lighting and equipment become more efficient, the watts and tons will trend lower.


A quick example, as with most of our calculators, you can choose Imperial or Metric units. Let's demonstrate this calculator using Imperial units. We will evaluate a 10,000 SF (929 m^2) office space. The data for this calculator was gathered from various sources, and the output information may look different depending on the Building Type you select. Select Imperial Units from the Units dropdown menu, enter 10,000 SF in the Project Area box, and select Office: One Story from the Building Type dropdown menu. The result is an estimated 29 tons of cooling. You can play around with the building type to gain more information about the range of refrigeration you might expect. Let's select Office: Office Buildings (General). The results now show a capacity of 28-tons to 53-tons. You can discern whether your building will be on the high end or low end of this estimate based on things like orientation, location, and quality of construction.

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