If you’ve ever looked on the internet for tips on choosing the right size HVAC system for your home, you know it can be confusing! Often there are a number of different calculations and formulas – but how do you know which is the correct one to use? It is best to have an HVAC specialist visit your home as we have found those formulas or calculations can’t take into account your lifestyle and the TRUE energy efficiency in your home. We have used the Manual J calculation and there are limitations to the software. Many times we have found it to undersize the appropriate tonnage for a home.
Some clients enjoy their homes icy cold while others like a typical 72 degrees for summer and the same for winter. Older clients have different needs than those with families and active lifestyles. Some homes have vaulted ceilings and large windows; ductwork is under or oversized…parameters manual J can’t calculate.
Can’t You Just Use Square Footage to Choose an HVAC unit?
While there are certain charts out there that will give you a general idea of the best HVAC size, they’re based only on square footage and don’t take the other variables addressed by the Manual J calculation into account. If you were to compare two homes with the same square footage, one may have less energy-efficient windows, more people living in the home, and older insulation – factors which could significantly alter the BTU recommendations. Even though the homes are the same size, they could have completely different energy needs.
A reputable HVAC company will take all these things into consideration, look at your existing system, lifestyle, home age, etc and make suggestions for energy efficiency (i.e. attic insulation), air filtration and more. Changing any of these parameters can help you save energy passively and perhaps reduce the required tonnage of your system.
Still having trouble deciding which size HVAC system is right for you? Give us a call, and one of our friendly and knowledgeable technicians can help you choose the perfect system for your home.