When creating energy models for compliance with the California Energy Code (Title 24, Part 6), one thing to take into account is the type of HVAC system used for any of the conditioned spaces on a given new construction project. In the past, software approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC) was relatively limited in its ability to account for the efficiencies of certain types of HVAC systems. In particular, ductless mini-split systems could technically be modeled as such, but they were not explicitly recognized for additional compliance credits. However, starting with the 2019 Energy Code, all CEC approved compliance software will now allow for the extra benefit of ductless mini-split systems in the model. The typical expected impact is substantial as energy models which include these systems will provide considerably better scores than conventional split system heat pumps due to their drastically higher efficiencies.

In addition, as these systems do not require the installation of ducts, they represent a convenient option when major space restrictions are part of a project, or in instances when air quality plays a major role as any issues of accumulation of contaminants in ducts would be avoided. Because of this, the CEC now recognizes these systems as preferable to conventional split system heat pumps and thus grants extra compliance credits in any new project which includes them as a result.

VCA Green is committed to elevating the value of new and existing development projects and providing succinct support in the navigation of the code’s complexities. If you need assistance with energy code compliance or other Title 24 services, please contact us for more information.

Contributing Writer: Alejandro Gamas, CEA

Moe Fakih, Principal

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