Winter Refrigerant Charge Verification for Final Permits

To comply with SB 1414, Home Upgrade participating contractors must upload a copy of the signed-off permit after final inspection for jobs with air conditioners and heat pumps. The requirement may impact the typical job completion process for some of you, as standard refrigerant charge verification cannot be completed if the ambient outdoor temperature is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your application requires a final, signed-off permit, but you are unable to schedule a standard Title-24 HERS refrigerant charge verification due to outdoor temperature, you may elect to complete a “Winter Refrigerant Charge Verification.” The full details are found on page 9-42 of the 2016 Residential Compliance Manual.

From the manual, “Compliance with HERS verification when the outdoor temperatures are less than 55 degrees F can be demonstrated using one of the following alternatives:

a. The installer may use the weigh-in charging procedure, but elect to have the system verified by a HERS rater using the RA3.2.2 standard charge verification procedure at a time when the temperature is warmer. However, this option can delay the project. In this case, the installer must include the signatures of the homeowner and the HERS Rater on the CF2R – MCH25c form to notify the local enforcement agency that a correct refrigerant charge will be verified at a later time (RA 2.4.4). The installer must also provide written notice to the homeowner that the charge has not yet been verified (RA2.4.4).

b. EXCEPTION 1 to §150.2(b)1Fiib provides for an alternative HERS verification procedure if the weigh-in method is used. This exception allows the installer to use the HERS Rater verification procedure in RA3.2.3.2 in which the rater observes the installer while the installer performs the weigh-in charging procedure. However, when the HVAC installer elects this option, as specified in RA3.2.3.2, the system thermostat must be an OCST [Occupant Controlled Smart Thermostat] that conforms to the requirements of JA5.”

If your job scope includes an air conditioner and/or heat pump but you are unable to acquire a final, signed-off permit following either the standard charge procedure or winter refrigerant charge procedure, your application may not be approved for payment. We ask that you to maintain clear, detailed, and open communication with your customers if you expect delays to avoid customer dissatisfaction with your company or the Home Upgrade Program.