When it’s cold outside, your heating units need to be able to keep you home comfortable. But if your furnace isn’t sized right for your home, you’ll just end up wasting money. Or worse—you’ll be dealing with a chilly “winter wonderland” inside!
Furnace Size and Ductwork
Most people tend to think that furnace size is only determined by square footage of their house. However, the biggest factor is actually the size of the ductwork. If your furnace size and ductwork don’t match up, you’re bound to have some problems.
For example, if the ductwork is too small for your furnace, the furnace will end up having a shorter lifespan than it should. The reason is because the amount of air that the furnace produces doesn’t have enough space (ductwork) to travel through. Therefore, it restricts air flow and can eventually cause the furnace to overheat. To compare, it’s kind of like driving a big truck with a MINI Cooper radiator in it.
If you want to get the best lifespan out of your furnace, you need to make sure it’s sized appropriately for your ductwork—not just your square footage. Experiencing any of the problems listed below is a sure sign that your equipment need a review.
Problems with Furnace Size
There are basically three possible scenarios for your home’s furnace size. You’ll either have a furnace that’s too big, one that’s too small, or a unit that’s sized just right for your home’s layout, the ductwork, and family needs. Keeping all these factors in mind will help you get an effective, energy-efficient setup.
Having a furnace that is too small for your home means the system won’t be able to keep up with the dropping temperatures outside. They simply can’t make up the difference to heat your home properly. It might come with a lower price tag upfront, but the trouble of having a furnace that can’t even do its job isn’t worth the hassle.
When furnaces are too small, they’ll have to kick on often—or even non-stop—try to increase your indoor temp. They end up running and running, but without any real progress. This leads to excessively high energy bills, and not much help in making your home comfortable.
Of course, a furnace that is too big won’t be much help either. When units are oversized for the space they’re heating, the furnace ends up working in quick bursts. They’ll turn on when the temperature is low and just end up creating heat pockets. Since the system works at full blast and heats some areas super-quickly, there isn’t enough time for the heat to travel throughout the home evenly.
The furnace then ends up turning on and off more times than is necessary. A few areas get toasty, and then the system turns off. Then, as that heat spreads out, the unit has to warm up again and start all over again. This makes over-sized furnaces really inefficient. For most homes, bigger units aren’t better.
Your Right-Size Furnace
A furnace that is appropriately sized for your home and needs will turn on and heat your space gradually. This makes the process much more energy-efficient and puts less strain on your equipment. If you’ve been noticing that your furnace is running non-stop, there’s a good chance it’s too small for your home. And if it’s constantly starting and stopping, you might be living with a unit that’s too big.
When you have a furnace that’s sized correctly for your home, you shouldn’t have to worry about any hot or cold pockets in your home. But even the most efficient systems aren’t totally fool-proof. On the coldest night of the year, your furnace may not be able to keep up. This is actually normal. Systems that plow through those sub-zero temps are likely working inefficient the rest of the year. You may need to throw another blanket on the bed during that extra-chilly spell, but at least you’ll know you aren’t over-paying for a unit that’s too big!
Finding the Perfect Fit
Working with an experienced local HVAC company is a great way to ensure you’ve got a heat pump or furnace that’s working with your home setup and ductwork—not against it. The best way to get the best heating system for your home is to work with the pros. An experienced HVAC technician can help you find the right-sized unit for your space and get it installed properly so it lasts longer and stays efficient.
Not sure if your system is running at peak efficiency? Contact LCS Heating and Cooling. We’re proud to provide our neighbors with great service and honest feedback. Give us a call at 317-238-3961 to schedule your Heating Tune-Up before the holidays hit. We’ll help keep your home comfy all year long!