Main   »   Manual J, S, D, & T Explained

Manual J, S, D & T Explained

Ensure Proper Sizing Of HVAC Equipment

What Are Manual J, S, D, & T


Standards and protocol developed by Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) for the proper design and installation of HVAC equipment and duct work. If you want a properly designed HVAC system, you have to go through the whole process in all four protocols: J, S, T, and D.

The system process is as follows:

  • Manual J: Load Calculation
  • Manual S: Equipment Selection
  • Manual D: Duct Design
  • Manual T: Air Distribution

After a proper Manual Calculation, what you will end up with is a well-designed HVAC system that will improve efficiency, comfort, and overall performance.

Manual J (Residential Load Calculations)

Manual J is the first step in the design process of a new HVAC system and analyzes a complex series of calculations, or load calculations, used to determine:

  • Total amount of heat that is lost through the exterior of a home during the cooler months
  • Total amount of heat that is gained through the exterior of a home during the warmer months

Load Calculations Analyze Certain Characteristics Of A Home Such As:

  • Walls
  • Floors (square footage)
  • Ceilings
  • Size and Placement of Rooms
  • Number of Doors and Windows
  • mount of Insulation

And It Takes Into Account Other Important Factors Such As:

  • Number of Occupants
  • Geographic Location
  • Orientation to the Sun
  • Envelope Tightness
  • Duct Leakage
  • Lights and Appliances

Manual S (Residential Equipment Selection)

Once a Manual J load calculation has been completed a Manual S procedure is used for covering the proper equipment recommendations. Selection is based on performance criteria such as:

  • Equipment’s total capacity to remove heat and moisture from the air
  • How much total air, and at what pressure, the system can operate

Manual D (Duct Design)


  • Uneven distribution of hot/cold air due to inaccurately sized HVAC registers/grilles
  • Undersized ducts can be too noisy
  • Oversized ducts create higher energy bills because the HVAC works much harder
  • Incorrect number of registers distorts air flow causing poor indoor air quality

A properly designed duct system will distribute air evenly throughout your home ensuring comfort while helping you save on energy costs.

Manual T (Air Distribution)

Manual T shows you how to avoid drafts and stagnant air problems caused by improper sizing or incorrect equipment selection. The questions you answer here are:

  • Where will the supply registers, diffusers, or grills be located?
  • Where will the return grills be located?
  • What type of register, diffuser, or grill will you use?
  • How big does it need to be?

The right termination (the grille that you see from inside your house) can make dramatic differences in how air moves around the room. Some terminations are more effective than others, for certain situations.

Advantages Of Choosing A Proper Size For Your HVAC

Reduces Cost

Larger units start and stop more frequently making them more costly than smaller unit

Increases Comfort

Cools and dehumidifies air simultaneously increasing comfort in the summer

Energy Efficiency

Over sized units consume more energy, blow more air, and require larger ducts

The main reason to choose right-sized equipment is to avoid paying too much money for equipment you don’t need. A full Manual J, S, D, & T calculation will ensure you don’t spend more than necessary for your furnace, boiler, or air conditioner. Most sources repeat the same advice: over sized furnaces and air conditioners cost too much, waste energy, and sometimes provide lower levels of comfort. To avoid these problems, have a professional HVAC contractor perform these calculations and start saving today!

Brought To You By Bradley Mechanical


  • On call emergency 24/7 service when you need it most
  • Certified and professional technicians
  • Specializing in HVAC, plumbing, and home performance products and services
  • Quality installation and repair for 100% customer satisfaction

Call Us Today

Call us today at 804-214-3126 to learn more about how you can save on your HVAC system!


Customer FeedbackWhat Our Customers Say

Social ReviewsEvery Platform Tells Our Story

Weather Icon

Currently in Richmond, VASunny 91°

Seasonal & Weather Related TopicsTo Keep Your Family Comfortable