Q: What does the State of Washington Energy Code require for Heating and Air Conditioning Equipment?

A: The code provides points for different types of systems.

1/2 a point can be earned for using a gas, propane or oil-fired furnace with a minimum of 95% efficiency.

One point can be earned for an Air-source heat pump with a minimum HSPF (Heating Seasoned Performance Factor) of 8.5. This system is typically called a high efficiency electric heat pump.

Two points can be earned by using a closed-loop ground source heat pump with a minimum COP (Co-efficient of Performance). These systems are known as a ground loop Geo-Thermal system.

One point achieved for use of a Ductless Split System Heat Pumps, Zonal Controlled.

One point for a High Efficiency HVAC Distribution System. This is where you place your duct work in conditioned space. (I.e. not in attic or rational crawl space).

Remember, small homes (<1500 sq.ft) you need .5 points, Medium sized homes (1501 to 4999 sq.ft. need 1.5 points and large homes (greater than 5000 sq.ft.) need 2 points.

We software model every home to determine what type of systems to use. It is similar to what the car industry does to maximize performance. I would suggest when choosing a heating and cooling contractor is that they are well versed in right sizing. Could you imagine that every cars and truck have the same motor?

One of the goals of building high performing homes is that you look at building the homes from a holistic perspective. Right sizing goes a long ways to get optimum performance.


Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!