Whether you’re replacing an older furnace or installing a new one, choosing the right furnace size for your heating needs can be tricky. Many customers think that bigger means better, but that’s not always the case where furnaces are concerned. Furnaces are rated by the BTU (British thermal units) output, referring to the amount of heat produced to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
By calculating the furnace size to provide efficient heating for your space, you can reduce energy costs while increasing efficiency—all without sacrificing comfort or function. The size of your home and weather conditions are the two primary factors to consider when calculating what size furnace you need. Consult with a trusted local HVAC contractor to get an accurate estimate for what new furnace size your home needs.
Does Your Home Have the Right Size Furnace?
Let’s explore some common issues caused by an oversized furnace and why smaller furnaces may provide the ideal home heating solution.
Larger Furnaces Can Distribute Heat Unevenly
A common complaint from homeowners in the winter months is that some climate zones are warmer than others, which can cause discrepancies in temperatures in different rooms, with some being uncomfortably warm while others remain too cold. This is why furnace size matters.
Larger furnaces push more significant amounts of heat when they turn on and can cause a thermostat to think the target temperature has been reached, though that isn’t the case. If you’re experiencing this heating system issue, contact your local HVAC experts to calculate your furnace size and see if a small furnace may be more effective for heating your home.
Small Furnaces Operate More Efficiently
Many homeowners believe larger furnace sizes will heat their home more effectively, though the opposite is often true. The right size furnace will generate the correct amount of heat more efficiently than an oversized furnace.
Furnaces don’t reach peak energy efficiency until they’ve warmed up thoroughly. Smaller furnaces reach peak efficiency more quickly and create a comfortable space without the risk of overheating.
Furnace Lifespan in Relation Size and Use
Because larger furnace sizes cycle on and off more frequently, they’re prone to malfunction, which wastes energy and leads to costly repairs. The heat exchange on larger furnaces also wears out more quickly than on smaller units.
Additionally, larger furnaces are more likely to overheat, which can cause damage to other components and shorten the lifespan of your HVAC system.
What Is Short Cycling and How to Avoid It
Short cycling refers to an issue where the furnace turns off before the home has reached your desired temperature. It’s caused by a furnace overheating because it’s generating more heat than the space can handle. Your heating system automatically shuts off for safety reasons, leaving you uncomfortably cold and causing damage to your furnace.
This issue is far more common with larger furnaces due to the sheer amount of heat they generate. When new furnaces are installed in spaces too small for their heat output, they can create hazardous situations and increase the risk of breaking down completely.
These reasons demonstrate the importance of an adequately calculated furnace to keep energy bills lower, increase energy efficiency, and keep your family warm and comfortable during the long winter months.
Service Patriots: Your Local HVAC Experts
Our experienced team is ready to help you identify and solve any issues you may encounter when shopping for the best furnace for the square footage of your home. Our expert home heating advice can keep you comfortable through the coldest months.