What Size HVAC System Should I Have?

November 12, 2020 8:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Are you getting ready to replace your home’s HVAC system? One of the most common questions we receive from clients regards how to determine the size of the HVAC system they need. It’s an important question to ask, because if you purchase a system that’s too large, you’ll end up wasting a lot of money and energy. At the same time, if you purchase a system that’s too small, you won’t end up with enough warm or cool air being sent throughout your home.

Here are the steps you should follow to determine what size HVAC system you need. An HVAC contractor in St. George, UT can help you through this process.

Determine the BTUs needed

British Thermal Units (BTUs) are the unit that measures the energy delivered by your HVAC system. You can determine your BTU needs by performing a Manual J calculation, which factors in such elements as square footage, ductwork, climate zone, levels of natural sunlight, style and number of windows, quality and amount of insulation, number of people in the home and the presence of any heat-generating appliances.

This is a service utility companies will often provide for free if you are working with an HVAC contractor in St. George, UT to install a new system.

You may also be able to determine your BTU needs simply by the square footage of your house. For example, a 1,500 to 2,000 square-foot house will typically need about 30,000 BTUs.

Determine which unit you want

You’ll have a lot of different options to browse through when it comes to the specific HVAC equipment you’ll purchase. You’ll need to consider BTUs, of course, but it’s also a good idea to consider efficiency. If your dealer doesn’t have the specific BTU size you need, go the next size up—just don’t go too high, because you’ll end up with inefficient operation.

The maximum size unit you should purchase is one that’s 15 percent over your needed BTUs for cooling and 40 percent over your BTUs for heating. For heat pumps, you should go no more than 25 percent over (it’ll handle both heating and cooling).

Consider savings opportunities

There are a lot of high-efficiency units on the market these days as more and more homeowners are focused on conserving energy and reducing the amount they pay on utility bills. These high-efficiency systems will deliver the heat or cooling you need, but will consume significantly less power. While they will typically cost you more up front, they will also pay for themselves and then some over the course of their lifespan.

Another savings opportunity that exists with these high-efficiency units is that you may be able to take advantage of government rebates or tax credits when you purchase one. There are some federal programs in place that reward homeowners for using high-efficiency, environmentally-friendly appliances. Look into these before you make your purchase decision and see if you stand to benefit from any of them.

For more information, reach out to Calaway Heating & Air Conditioning to speak with an HVAC contractor in St. George, UT.

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