Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Determining the right size of HVAC for your house

For most homeowners, keeping their house at a comfortable temperature during the summer and winter months is important. If your HVAC unit is more than a decade old, it may be the right time to get it replaced. Today's systems are extremely efficient and offer a quieter operation than older units. However, it is very important to choose a system wisely. Here are a few things that you must consider when buying a unit:

Why does the right sized central air conditioner matter so much?

An HVAC unit can be a large investment. We're not only speaking in terms of the initial cost of buying the system and getting it installed, but we're also referring to the amount of money you will be spending on your energy bills. As per the experts, you will have to spend more than $2,000 an year on energy bills. Your HVAC system uses up half of the total energy your house consumes. Hence, it is important to choose the right-sized system that will guarantee energy-efficiency.

How to determine the right size:

The Size of the House:

When investing in a new HVAC system, the square footage of the house must be taken into consideration. An over-sized unit can lead to extra costs and poor operation.  Some units are single zone and can serve only a part of the house, such as the first or second floor. In bigger houses, normally a dual-zoned system is installed offering different levels of conditioning. 

Although dual-zoned system may cost more, the cooling quality and energy saving is much better. Buying a unit on square footage is often called 'rule-of-thumb' sizing. Every HVAC system comes with a BTU rating that is linked to the square footage it is intended to accommodate. In order to ensure maximum energy efficiency, the owner must invest in a system that has an appropriate BTU rating. 

Home’s overall efficiency features:

The home’s efficiency features must also be taken into consideration when choosing a HVAC unit. A house that is built with energy efficient features such as double-paned windows, enhanced insulation and the like may be suited for use with a faintly lower BTU rating. Apart from this, the overall enviroment of the house also plays a significant role. A house that has ample of shade can work on an HVAC system with a lower British thermal unit rating in summers than a house that is exposed to too much sunlight, and vice versa.  

It can be extremely difficult to determine the correct size of an HVAC system. While it is reasonably easy to figure out the square footage of the area that the HVAC system needs to service, other elements such as the energy efficiency and age of the house and the outside environment are more abstract. The effect they will have on the efficiency of an HVAC system can be hard to determine by a typical homeowner. Hence, the best way to go about it is to hire an HVAC expert who will help you determine the right system for your needs.