What Size HVAC Do I Need? Part 1: Six Factors to Consider

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When you’re getting ready to purchase a new HVAC system, what’s the first thing you need to consider? The size of the system!

If your HVAC system is too small, it’ll work harder and longer to heat and cool your home. These systems often can’t perform well enough to get your home to the ideal temperature.

But if your system is too large, (like this one!) it will heat and cool your home, but will constantly turn on and off because it takes so much less effort to do so. The starting of an HVAC system is the most hardware-intensive part of the process. It takes more energy and places more strain on the system to start it than it does to run for hours on end. This, in turn, requires more repairs and more maintenance.

So What Size HVAC Do I Need?

One of the problems with determining the size of your HVAC system is that it has so many factors involved – in, out and around your home. This makes it difficult to properly determine the size you’ll need. Here are six factors you (or your HVAC installer) should consider:

  • Previous Systems – If you had an HVAC system installed previously, then you’re more likely to get an accurate system. If you think your previous system was perfect, then you know what you need. If you thought it was too small or too large, then that can be adjusted accordingly and you can move on to the other factors.
  • Insulation – The most important factor is your home’s insulation. We’ll talk more about this later, but if your home lets air in and out through the walls, windows and doors, you’ll need a slightly larger system. If you have an airtight home, the system will just need to be large enough to cool or heat your home to the desired temperature.
  • Home Building Material – The building material also determines the insulation of your home. Brick homes only provide a little insulation, whereas vinyl homes provide much more.
  • Room Heights – How tall are your rooms? Some rooms are taller than others, but on average, they’re probably about eight feet tall. The HVAC installer has to take into consideration the height of the rooms individually. A bunch of small, insulated rooms with closed doors is easier to maintain than a large open room.
  • Overall Size of Building (square footage) – Your building’s square footage takes most size factors and puts them into one.
  • Climate Inside the Home – What’s inside the room, along with humidity levels and the climate where you live, also affect the size of your system. For instance, a room with a lot of electronics running is going to be hotter than an empty room. And electronics will need to be cooled more significantly in the summertime. But in the winter, it may require less energy to heat as it has its own natural heating source.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this guide on finding the right size HVAC system for your needs! It will cover common misconceptions, benefits and more!

About the author

This three-part series is written by guest blogger, Ryan Gavin, an associate of Comfort Pro, an HVAC installation company in Reading, PA. Ryan writes on varying topics from how to stay the most comfortable in your home, to technical requirements for HVAC systems.

About us

“The CRT Tipster” is an HVAC tips and news blog owned by Controlled Release Technologies, Inc. We are a chemical manufacturing company based in Shelby, N.C., and have been creating independently-certified, green products for HVAC maintenance since 1986. Read more at cleanac.com. Got a question? Contact us toll free at 1-800-766-9057.

1 comments on “What Size HVAC Do I Need? Part 1: Six Factors to Consider”

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