The two main components of a good heating system are how efficient it is and how much it costs to heat your home. Occasionally, an HVAC contractor may recommend a system that’s bigger than you need for optimal heating. Sometimes it’s the homeowner who makes the call.
On the contractor side, the issue may be an attempt to please a customer, where a homeowner may be trying to compensate for other issues with the property, like insufficient insulation or the absence of energy-efficient windows and doors.
Getting the Best System for Your Needs
Homeowners consider upgrading their heater if their current system costs too much to operate or if it isn’t heating their home enough anymore. Often, these two issues go hand-in-hand. They feel cold, so they turn up the heat to compensate. The result is additional wear on the system and higher energy bills.
Their first thought maybe “I need a bigger heater.” This is a problem for two reasons: it doesn’t necessarily address the cause of the issue and a heater that’s too big for the size of the home may make your feel warmer faster, but the unit will run at less than optimal efficiency. The solution is to have a contractor perform a heat load calculation. This uses a specific formula to determine the correct furnace size that’s based on several factors, including the location of doors and windows, the type and RF factor of the insulation, and the home’s relative air-tightness.
The right size heater system is just as important to your bottom line as it is to your family’s comfort and safety. As an educated consumer, you’re in a good position to get the services you need without being swayed toward unnecessary upgrades or over-sized units.
A reputable contractor will know how to properly evaluate what your home heating requirements are and provide you with several options.
Energy Saver 101: Home Heating. Energy.gov.
Selecting a Home Heating System. Green Riverside.