Whenever installing a new HVAC system or replacing your old furnace or air conditioner, it is essential that you get the right size of equipment for your home. If your furnace or AC is too small, it won’t be able to properly heat or cool the entire home. As a result, the system will need to run more frequently, which creates higher energy bills and increased wear and tear on the equipment. If the equipment is too big, it will also cost you more both in terms of energy usage and increased purchase and installation costs. With these possible downsides in mind, here is everything that goes into calculating what size of HVAC equipment you need.
Calculating Home Square Footage
The square footage of your home is the most important factor in determining what size of heating or cooling equipment is best. If you don’t already know the total square footage of your home, you’ll need to measure the length and width of each room that is connected to the HVAC system. Multiply the length times the width to find the square footage of each room, and then add all the rooms together to determine the total area of the home.
Attached garages should really never be connected to an HVAC system as this will result in poor indoor air quality. Supply and return air vents in the garage will allow exhaust fumes and other pollutants to get inside the home, which can be dangerous for your health. This means that you don’t need to include the garage when calculating the home’s square footage.
Determining Load Calculations
Once you know the square footage, it is fairly easy to calculate the total heating or cooling output you need. HVAC output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), and the general rule is that it takes a minimum of 20 BTUs to heat or cool one square foot. This means that all you need to do to calculate the total required output is to take the total square footage and multiply it by 20.
Let’s say your home is 2,500 square feet. In this case, your furnace or AC would need to have a minimum output of 50,000 BTUs to effectively heat or cool the entire home. It is usually much easier to find the exact size of furnace you need than it is an air conditioner. This is because central AC units are only available in standard sizes from 1.5 to 5 tons.
For ACs, one ton equals 12,000 BTUs. For a 2,500-square-foot home, you would need 4.167 tons. This means you would need to choose between either a 4-ton or a 4.5-ton AC since units are only available in half-ton increments. In this situation, you are always better to go with a unit that is slightly larger than you need. In fact, HVAC experts generally recommend choosing a slightly larger unit to ensure the system still performs effectively on even extremely hot or cold days.
How HVAC Technicians Calculate Equipment Size
Although these calculations can give you a rough estimate of how large your HVAC equipment needs to be, there are still numerous other factors that need to be accounted for. One factor is the local climate as larger systems are generally required for areas that experience either extreme heat or cold. If the ceilings in the home are higher than eight feet, you will also need to take this measurement into account since high ceilings will increase the total volume of air that needs to be heated or cooled.
When calculating equipment size, HVAC technicians also look at how well-insulated the home is, how many windows the home has and their sizes, and whether the building gets lots of direct sunlight or shade. All of these factors are important because they can either increase or decrease how many BTUs are needed. This is why it is always best to hire a professional HVAC company to help ensure whatever system you choose is appropriately sized for your home.
Expert Heating and Cooling Services
If you’re looking to replace your furnace or AC, the team at Jco Heating A/C Electrical can analyze your home and calculate exactly what size of equipment you need. We offer a wide selection of highly efficient Daikin furnaces, ACs, heat pumps, and other HVAC equipment. Our technicians can also repair or maintain existing equipment from any manufacturer. We have a team of licensed electricians that can handle any of your home’s electrical needs. Our company is located in Springfield, and we also serve residential and commercial customers in other surrounding communities. For more information on HVAC installation or any of our other services, give us a call today.