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Guidelines for Adequate Cooling

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It’s no secret people do not like being hot, especially in a brand new house. And now that it’s officially summer, it’s officially hot, and those of us who have been in the home warranty business a little while know hot temperatures can mean hot tempers. Do you know there is a Construction Performance Guideline that addresses what adequate cooling should be?

Construction Performance Guideline (CPG) – 10.3 of the 1-Year Workmanship Coverage

“When air conditioning is provided, the cooling system should be capable of maintaining a temperature of 78-degrees Fahrenheit as measured in the center of each room at a height of five feet above the floor, under local outdoor summer design conditions…In the case of outside temperatures exceeding 95-degrees Fahrenheit, the system shall keep the inside temperature 15-degrees cooler than the outside temperature…”

What Does This Mean?

This CPG is unique in that it does say national, state or local requirements shall supersede the guideline where such requirements have been adopted by the local governing agency, so that is something the builder/seller should remember if presented with a possible issue. Another unique aspect of this CPG is the exclusion, which takes into account the orientation of the home and the location of the room where a possible deficiency is located. For example, it may not be possible for a south-facing room to achieve the requirement without additional adjustments, such as window-treatments or the balancing of dampers and registers, which is the responsibility of the homeowner.

If a deficiency does exist, the builder/seller responsibility is to correct the cooling system to meet the CPG. As the Warranty states, the design, method and manner of any repair is the sole discretion of the builder. This is a critically important feature of the warranty to remember when it comes to HVAC repairs because it is not uncommon for a homeowner to already have a diagnosis that recommends replacing the entire system. Also, keep in mind the deficiency cannot be caused by a piece of equipment failing, which is an expressed exclusion.