Buyer's Guide

What to Look For in HVAC Software

Not all HVAC software is created equal, and that makes the process of choosing a program difficult for the contractor. As you are researching different products available, it is important to look for these things:

  • Reliable and professional vendor
  • Accurate, industry standard calculations
  • Easy to use
  • Versatility (helping to eliminate the need for other, separate programs)
  • Demos available
  • Support

Reliable and Professional Vendor

  • The vendor should back up their software with a money-back guarantee.
  • The company should follow an internal Code of Ethics that helps to establish accountability and ensures credibility of every team member.
  • Recognized HVAC industry status:
    • Software awards for innovation
    • Industry memberships such as ASHRAE, ACCA and more
    • Partnerships with major manufacturers
  • HVAC industry experts on staff

Accurate, Industry Standard Calculations

  • Easily switch between these methods to work with both residential and commercial projects in a single program.
    • Certified ACCA Manual J 7th or 8th Edition load calculations
    • Certified ACCA Manual D duct calculations
    • Certified ACCA Manual N load calculations
    • ASHRAE CLTD and RTS method commercial load calculations
    • ASHRAE duct methods
    • HRAI F280 certified load and duct calculations
  • Software calculations should be accepted by inspectors in your area

Easy to Use

  • Multiple input options: Manual input AND Graphic input
  • The software should automatically save your work as you are using the program so you don't lose hours of time repeating work!
  • The program should give you the option to import or read AutoCAD files so you can save hours of time by simply tracing a house for load calculations or system design.
  • Having all of the buttons and tools you will need available on screen will save you time, energy and make learning the program even easier.
  • Setting the building materials, a critical factor in load calculations, should be easily accessed, rapidly done, and illustrated graphically for quick understanding.


  • The program should ultimately eliminate your need to own and work with separate programs.
  • You should be able to expand and add-on functionality and features to your program as your business needs change.
  • Ensure that the software can be used to complete a range of tasks:
    • Basic load calculations or room-by-room designs
    • Additional calculations including: reports, duct sizing, equipment selection, comparisons, and more.
  • The software should be able to link with other programs such as Rem/Rate, ResCheck, or FlaRes to save you time from reentering information.

Demos Available

  • Free Demos - Try before you buy! Reliable software companies know that their software will add value to you company and will offer FREE, fully-functional demos for you to try all of their capabilities. Often, you can download this right from the website.
  • Online demonstrations with the Sales Representatives can help you see how to complete your specific common tasks. That way, you know that the software is capable of meeting your needs.
  • Money-back guarantees can help you feel more confident in your purchasing decision. If you think the software can really help, invest and try it for 30 days. If it is not working for you, the company should be willing to refund your investment during that time.


  • Is the support included or do you have to pay extra for it? There should be no hidden costs when it comes to getting your questions answered quickly and by a live person.
  • Check for a range of support options such as online tutorials, videos, webinars, frequently asked questions and free live technical support.
  • Be sure the company offers training classes, preferably taught by company employees who are dedicated to helping you learn the software.