If you’re thinking of upgrading or replacing your home’s furnace, determining the right size system is crucial. In order to determine correct furnace size for your Cleveland area home, your contractor should use heating load calculations set forth in the Manual J software from Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). Manual J is the industry standard in the U.S. for calculating how much capacity a furnace will need in order to heat a particular home. Here are some things your contractor will keep in mind when sizing your home’s furnace:
1. Don’t Use Rules of Thumb. If your contractor is sizing your system based on square footage rules of thumbs, or based on your old furnace size, run in the other direction. Improvements in insulation and other weatherization methods over the years likely will allow your home to be heated by a smaller capacity furnace. Plus, in the old days, many contractors purposefully oversized furnaces. But a number of problems can arise with a furnace that’s too big. This is why proper load calculations are so important.
2. Gather Complete Information. To perform proper load calculations, your contractor needs to know a lot about a home, including its size and layout, its orientation to the sun and the number of occupants you expect to be inhabiting the house.
3. Don’t Guess Values. Even one inaccurate estimation in these calculations can cost you a lot of money and comfort in the future. A reliable contractor will double-check all variables.
4. Don’t Forget Your Ducts. You contractor should correctly use Manual J, but also Manual D, which ensures that ductwork is compatible with your new furnace.
5. Consider All Parts of Your Home. Heating load calculations take into account many variables in your home, and neglecting any one can throw off the calculations. As mentioned before, these include the design and location of your home, your home’s insulation levels and airtightness, as well as internal variables, such as energy needs and HVAC system location.
If you need professional help with calculating the heating load of your Greater Cleveland area home, please contact Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace sizing and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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