When you’re planning on upgrading your heating system, the first, and most important, step to take is sizing it correctly. HVAC contractors use two systems called Manuals J and S, designed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, to accurately determine the proper size, rather than going by the size of the existing equipment in your home. Improvements you’ve made to the insulation, windows or landscaping, as well as efficiency improvements in modern equipment, may allow you to buy a smaller system than what you were using.
Choosing HVAC equipment that’s too large not only costs you more initially, but increases the amount you spend on both heating and maintenance. When the contractor assesses your home using Manual J, he takes these factors into account:
- Cubic footage;
- Insulation levels;
- Number of windows, their size, orientation to the sun and efficiency;
- Amount of air infiltration;
- Heat-producing appliances under roof;
- Preferred indoor temperatures;
- Number of home occupants;
- Layout of the home; and
- Lifestyle factors.
When the HVAC contractor goes over the results with you, that will provide you with the opportunity to seal any leaks in your home, add insulation or improve window efficiency.
When your heating equipment is too large, the system won’t run as efficiently. It runs for shorter periods and turns on more frequently, which increases the wear and tear on it, and raises your utility bills. This also tends to provide uneven heating and inconsistent air filtration. Meanwhile, an undersized system will struggle to heat your home.
After you’re satisfied with your home’s energy efficiency, the contractor will take the results of Manual J and fine-tune your equipment selection by using Manual S. The ultimate size is driven by the kind of heating system you choose, taking into account the variables that affect performance. Heat pumps heat differently than combustible fuel systems, but when you work with a contractor who uses these tools, your new equipment will be optimally sized for your home. They’ll also consider duct sizing for the new equipment using Manual D.
If you’d like to learn more about sizing a new heating system, please contact us at the Climate Control Company. We’ve provided superior HVAC services for western Colorado since 1956.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about programmable thermostats and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.
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