The Professional Way of Sizing an HVAC System Upgrade
When you upgrade your home heating or cooling system, it’s usually in response to an equipment failure or need for improved efficiency or performance. Upgrading your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner gives you the opportunity to correct system issues with newer and more reliable HVAC equipment. The most effective way to ensure your upgraded HVAC system will meet your needs is by having your contractor perform a load calculation.
Your home’s “load” is the amount of heating or cooling required to keep it at the temperature you prefer. Load calculations precisely evaluate the heating and cooling needs of your home. They account for:
- Physical characteristics of the building, such as size, shape, levels, number of windows, directional orientation and landscaping.
- Thermal characteristics of the building, such as amount of insulation, effectiveness of building seal, and energy-saving features that have been applied.
- Local temperature and climate.
Occupant temperature preferences. A properly sized heat pump, furnace or air conditioner is powerful enough to produce the right amount of heating and cooling for your home. It is not too large or too small, so it doesn’t waste energy, overstress the equipment, or produce inconsistent heating and cooling. Load calculations are most frequently performed using the techniques contained in protocols developed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America:
- Manual J, “Residential Load Calculation,” which includes all the instructions and procedures required for an effective load calculation. Computer software handles the sophisticated mathematics.
- Manual D, “Residential Duct Systems,” which provides expert guidance for designing and installing effective ductwork systems.
- Manual S, “Residential Heating and Cooling Equipment Selection,” which contains detailed specifications on HVAC systems produced by numerous manufacturers. With this information in hand, your HVAC contractor can help you choose the size, brand and type of furnace, air conditioner or heat pump that will keep your home comfortable at the lowest possible cost.
For more information on the importance of load calculations, contact us today at Sobieski Services, Inc. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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