What Size Furnace and Air Conditioner do I Need?

If you’re shopping for new home heating and cooling systems, there are many factors you’ll need to consider in order to choose a properly sized system. If your HVAC system is too large, it will cycle off and on constantly, which puts a lot of stress on the equipment. On the other hand, a system that is too small will run all the time, but never quite manage to make your home comfortable. We’ll lay out some of the aspects you need to consider to choose the right heating and cooling system for your home.

Size and Ceiling Height

Of course, larger homes usually need larger heating and cooling systems, but there are other factors to consider as well. Because heat rises, ceiling heights are also important. If you have a 2,000 square foot home with 12-foot ceilings, you’ll need a much larger heating system than a home of the same size that has 8-foot ceilings.

Insulation and Weatherproofing

Homes that are very well insulated can use much smaller home heating and cooling systems. This includes not only the insulation in your exterior walls, but also things like reflective insulation and weather stripping. Reflective insulation helps keep your home cooler in the summer by reflecting the hot sun away from your home. Weather stripping is used to seal doors and windows, which prevents drafts in the winter, and stops cool air from escaping in the summer.

Windows and Window Treatments

Windows and window treatments are also important. Windows are a major source of heat loss, which means if your house has an unusually high number of windows, you’ll need a larger system than the average home. However, you can mitigate some of the heat loss from windows simply by choosing the right curtains or blinds. For instance, heavy drapes do an excellent job of keeping warmth inside during the winter while reflecting sunlight in the summer.

Your Duct Work

Duct work is another important consideration. If you have ducts running through unheated crawlspaces, or ducts that are leaky, you’ll lose more heat, which means you’ll need a larger system. The same is true if you have long spans of ductwork. Home heating and cooling systems need to work harder to move both warm and cool air to the furthest reaches of your home.

While these are some of the most important factors you’ll need to think about before choosing a new HVAC system, they’re not the only things that will impact the efficiency of your home. Your best option is to call a trained professional to do a detailed analysis of your home’s heating and cooling needs!

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