The best time to replace a furnace is whenever your old furnace fails. Many people may choose to put off installing a new furnace once summer and spring arrive, but cold snaps can show up just as unexpectedly as heatwaves. Delaying your new furnace installation can mean getting caught out without heat once summer gives way to fall.
When selecting a new furnace, many people choose one with a similar capacity to their old units. This approach is an easy option, but it may not always provide the best efficiency or heating power. Just as with selecting an air conditioner, it's best to choose a furnace that is neither too powerful nor too weak. Surprisingly, your home can significantly impact the best option for your needs.
The Basics of Furnace Capacity and Heating Load
Most furnaces use BTUh (British Thermal Units per Hour) as a rating of heating capacity. The details of this particular measurement unit aren't critical to understanding, but a higher BTUh rating always indicates a greater heating capacity. While undersized furnaces will struggle to heat your home, oversized furnaces may provide inconsistent heat and ultimately wear out more quickly.
To find the sweet spot, HVAC contractors calculate your heating load based on several factors. The two crucial components of this calculation are your home's square footage and heating factor. The heating factor is a modifier that helps you to determine how many BTUh you need to provide heat for every square foot in your home.
How Your Home Design Impacts Your Heating Factor
Your previous installer likely used this same calculation to determine the capacity of your current furnace, but that value may no longer be accurate. Since furnaces can last for fifteen years or more, you may have remodeled or changed aspects of your home since then. Additionally, the age of parts of your home's envelope (such as windows) can impact your heating factor.
When working with your installer, they will help you evaluate everything from the number of windows in your house to its insulation thickness. These aspects of your home's envelope can influence how well your house retains heat. The better your home can keep heat in, the less BTUh you'll need for every square foot. These considerations ultimately allow your contractor to find the right heating factor.
Although it might seem tedious to calculate this information, it can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Replacing your old furnace with a new one precisely sized for your home will improve its longevity and decrease your utility bills. Since you will need to live with your new furnace for well over a decade, the small amount of effort will pay dividends in the years to come. Learn more by contacting furnace installation contractors.Share
28 May 2021
Every summer, I agonized over energy bills that would shoot into the stratosphere as a result of my efforts to keep cool in the heat. Every time I turned the temperature down, my bills increased. This summer, I decided to take some of the control over my energy bill back. I installed reflective film on my windows that reduced the amount of light and heat coming into the house. I started serving more cold meals or asking my husband to barbecue outside, so that my air conditioner didn't have to compete with the hot stove, and I started doing laundry at night to reduce appliance heat in the house at peak times. I also had ceiling fans installed. So far, the difference in my bill has been tremendous. This blog is a way for me to explore other ways to reduce energy drain during the summer months.