When it comes to your home’s heating and cooling system, size matters.  Many homes have comfort systems that are too large for their needs, leading to a multitude of problems during the life of the equipment.

Costly.  Oversized equipment is not only more expensive to buy and install, but will run at less than peak efficiency, thereby increasing monthly utility bills. 

Reduced comfort.  Oversized heating equipment creates large and uncomfortable temperature swings, while oversized air conditioners (and heat pumps) do not run long enough to dehumidify the air, resulting in the air feeling “clammy” and the potential for unhealthy mold growth in your home. 

Frequent repairs and premature breakdown.  Oversized equipment experiences frequent starts and stops (known as “short cycling”) which accelerates the wear and tear on the equipment, leading to premature failure.  This constant wear and tear often results in more frequent repairs along the way as well. Oversized equipment uses more fan power for the blower, causing duct leakage due to the higher than normal operating duct pressures.

A home “load calculation” is critical when homeowners are looking for a new heating and cooling system.  This is basically a list of factors that determine what size system you need.  A good contractor/technician will look at things such as wall measurements, floor space, windows, R-value of home’s insulation, overall square footage of livable space, etc.  A close estimate of a building’s air leakage is also necessary.  This estimate should include an inspection of the size, condition of seals on joints and insulation and location of distribution ducts in a forced air system.

When you are looking to buy a new heating and/or cooling system correctly sizing of your system will directly affect the comfort level in your home, as well as the long-term life of the system and overall cost to you. Remember when it comes to your home comfort system – size does matter!

Sources:
www.energy.gov
www.energystar.gov
www.energysavers.gov