The efficiency of modern HVAC equipment has increased dramatically over the past two decades. Heating and cooling technology and research has brought a greater understanding of how to get the maximum from every dollar spent on energy.
More is understood now about pairing HVAC equipment to a specific home. That is done in part by determining a load calculation. Different aspects go into sizing your heating and cooling equipment. In the past, contractors have not figured a formal load calculation at all or have relied upon inaccurate rules of thumb. This has resulted in improper load calculation often leaving the homeowner with the wrong equipment. Not performing a load calculation can cause the following problems:
PROBLEMS CAUSED BY NOT PERFORMING A LOAD CALCULATION
- Higher installation cost
- Oversize furnaces causing wide temperature swings
- Heat pumps and central air units pulling out less humidity because they don't cycle and run long enough
- Reduced efficiency
- Improper operation results in more breakdown
When replacing or upgrading your current HVAC equipment, if your contractor does not check the current size, you may not receive a proper return on your upgrade investment. You want the best performance from new equipment and, without a load calculation, efficiency will likely be less than it should. A properly performed load calculation is complex and takes many things about your home into consideration. Here are a few:
- Local climate
- Orientation (southern exposure, northern exposure)
- Size and locations of windows
- Cubic airspace in each room
- Amount of insulation
- The home's number of occupants and ages
- Size and design of home
- How tight or loose construction is i.e. how drafty your home is
- Types and number of appliances that emit heat
Performing an accurate load calculation correctly matches the size of the HVAC equipment to the home. This allows for optimum operation, maximum efficiency (which means lower operating costs), and the best level of comfort for those in the home.
Studies have shown that fewer than half of heating and air contractors perform a load calculation when installing new equipment. Don't get an upgrade unless you have an accurate load calculation performed. Ask to see the results.
Better still, contact our professionals at P. K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. We'll perform a thorough and accurate load calculation so you'll know your new equipment is matched to your home.
Photo credit: Jekert