Completing a load calculation for your home before choosing a new HVAC system is critical to your comfort and ongoing energy costs. The exercise assesses the unique HVAC needs of your home. It covers its overall energy efficiency and your personal preferences for cooling and heating.
HVAC contractors use software called Manual J to complete the load calculation. The technician will factor in your home’s:
- Insulation levels
- Window quality, location and size
- Air infiltration levels
- Cubic footage you want to condition
- Orientation toward the sun
- Landscaping factors
- Number of heat producing appliances indoors, including lighting
- Temperature preferences
- Family size and ages
The technician will go through your home on a room-by-room basis and enter the data into the software. When finished, you’ll have an idea of how large the new system should be for optimal comfort and performance.
Benefits of Careful Sizing
Although the exercise takes time, it’s well spent. You’ll learn where your home’s weaknesses are in terms of insulation, air infiltration and heat gain and losses through the windows.
Increasing insulation and sealing air leaks are relatively easy and inexpensive projects that will reduce your HVAC needs in the long term. You won’t need as large a system, which saves money on its installation, as well as lowering energy costs for the decades ahead.
Even if you don’t need energy efficiency improvements, going through the load calculation process will help you save money on heating and cooling costs. Systems that are too small or large increase energy costs and reduce comfort.
One that’s too large will also undermine comfort by leaving behind humidity in the cooling cycle. Oversized equipment tends to break down faster because it has frequent starts and stops whether it’s heating or cooling. A system that’s too small won’t be able to keep up with the worst weather extremes.
Measuring your home’s HVAC needs is the first and most essential step toward lower energy costs and increased home comfort. For more information, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions, providing outstanding HVAC services for Orlando homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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