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What You Should Know about HVAC System Sizing

money-saving-green-home-scaleHeating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can differ quite a bit in build, fuel type, special features, and efficiency rating. But one difference between systems is perhaps more important than any of that—but often overlooked by homeowners. People want the cheapest, the most efficient, or the system with the best automated features. What they don’t often discuss is sizing.

Sizing is key to the operation of your home HVAC system, whether it’s a central air conditioner, a heat pump, or a furnace. Sizing can make or break a new system, so do your research (with the help of our experts) before diving into a new installation.

Too Small Is No Good

When you’re on a budget, you might consider purchasing the smallest system you can in order to save some money on the cost of HVAC installation. However, we strongly recommend against this. When a heating system is too small for your home, it has a lot of trouble adding enough heat to meet thermostat demands.

The thermostat instructs the heater to keep running until it meets the temperature you’ve set. This means that, with a smaller system, it may have to work nonstop, day and night (rather than running in regular cycles), which quickly racks up bills and can cause the system to fail.

Bigger Is Not Always Better

If you’re worried about system performance and energy efficiency, investing in the largest system you can is not necessarily the answer (unless it’s properly sized for your home). Larger heaters are designed for larger homes. They should finish a complete cycle before shutting off, but a too-large heater won’t have a chance to do this.

The furnace may cycle briefly and shut off before it’s had a chance to run for more than a minute or two. This means it’s turning on and off more frequently than it should, something that wears down the system so it fails sooner than expected—and uses more energy than you might expect.

Finding that “Just Right” System

The truth is that there is only ONE size of air conditioner and heater that is the right fit for your entire home if you use forced-air central cooling and heating.

While you can choose a different efficiency rating (by checking the ENERGY STAR seal, the AFUE rating, or the SEER rating for air conditioners and heat pumps), there should only be one size you’re looking for, measured in BTUs (British thermal units). You can find out what size that is by calling a qualified installer to your home.

Don’t Fall for Low Prices and Dishonest Sales

When people know they need a new HVAC system, they often call around from company to company looking for the best price. We think this is a mistake. If the price of a heater or air conditioner seems too good to be true, it just may be!

We’ve come in to homes to fix too many air conditioners and heaters that were not properly installed in the first place. And when the system was not properly sized, there is nothing we can do except replace it. Choose qualified installers in the first place and you’ll know there’s nothing to worry about!

The dependable team at GRmetro Heating and Cooling Inc is here to offer complete HVAC services in Grand Rapids, MI. Call us today!

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