The size and capacity of your home comfort system are crucial factors in whether it can do its job properly. That’s why it’s wise to get a “load calculation” — a measurement of the heating and cooling output your home needs.
A too-small system will not be able to keep up with demand, but it will work very hard trying — leading to unnecessarily high utility bills. So should you just go out and buy the largest-capacity equipment to be safe? No. An oversize system is just as bad as an undersize system. You’ll pay too much for the equipment and more complex installation. Beyond that, you’ll get poor performance, as a too-big system will operate inefficiently and also increase your utility bills. Oversize furnaces can cause big temperature swings, while outsize A/C units fail to properly dehumidify your air because they don’t run long enough.
Correctly sizing your HVAC system is a more complex process than reading the label on your existing unit. That “nameplate” doesn’t factor in important considerations that are unique to each home. When performing your home’s load calculation, your HVAC professional should consider:
- The Massachusetts climate.
- Your home’s insulation levels and R-values, plus the effects of any energy-saving windows and weather stripping in your home.
- The effects of lighting and appliances that may give off heat.
- The size, shape, layout and placement of your home.
- Window sizes and locations.
- How many people live in the home and their ages.
- Your home comfort preferences.
If you’re considering replacing your cooling and heating system, we at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning are available to help. For a load calculation for your home or advice on energy-efficient HVAC systems, please contact us. We have served the home comfort and plumbing needs of households in the Route 495/128 area of Massachusetts for more than 85 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about determining the load calculation of your home and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Solutions Guide.