Need A New HVAC System? Do A Load Calculation First

Need A New HVAC System? Do A Load Calculation First

Dec 27, 2012

Are you considering upgrading to a new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system? If so, it’s important to consider all of the factors that affect its performance.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, on average, homeowners incur half of their energy costs from heating and cooling their homes. So if you’re in the market for a new HVAC system, you want to be sure that you get the right type and size for your needs. That’s why it’s so important to have your HVAC contractor conduct a load calculation to determine what size system your home requires. The most common problem associated with HVAC systems is that they are too large. Not only is it more expensive to have a system that’s too large, thanks to increased energy use that doesn’t really benefit you and your loved ones, but it also can affect your comfort. A system that’s too large may cause too much moisture in your home, which can impact your air quality and exacerbate respiratory issues.

Your HVAC contractor will consider the following factors as he or she conducts a load calculation:

  • The square footage of your home, as well as it size, shape and location.
  • Your home’s windows: how many there are, which direction they face, and their size and shape.
  • The material with which your home was constructed.
  • The condition of seals around your home’s windows and doors.

Additionally, your HVAC contractor should conduct a Manual J load calculation, which factors in the square cubic feet of each room, insulation, the number of people in residence and the habits of each, and other considerations that affect overall performance, such as duct size. A Manual J calculation then produces three important figures that can help you size your new system correctly:

  • Your home’s heating load, which is how much heat your home needs on an extremely cold night, when there is no heat from the sun to introduce warmth.
  • Your home’s sensible cooling load, which is how much heat, as determined by your thermostat, that your HVAC system should remove from your indoor air on an extremely warm day, when the sun is shining through into your home to introduce heat.
  • Your home’s latent cooling load, which is how much moisture your HVAC system needs to remove from your indoor air when it’s extremely warm and humid outside.

For more information about load calculations, or upgrading your heating and cooling equipment, contact the experts at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. With nearly a half century spent servicing homeowners in Florida, we have the best understanding of what you need for your home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about load calculations and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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