Use an HVAC Calculator to Find Your Ideal System
Do you have to replace your HVAC system? Are you buying one for the first time? Unless you’re an HVAC expert, it’s hard to know which system will work the best to heat and cool your home’s specific circumstances. Luckily, there is something out there that can help. Read on below to find out more about HVAC calculators.
What Is an HVAC Calculator Useful For?
An HVAC calculator is a tool that’s essential to finding the perfect system for your home. Instead of just buying one at random, be sure the unit you get can keep the indoor air at the ideal temperatures. The calculator allows you to know the necessary energy/recommended thermal output power. This tool is also known as a BTU, or British Thermal Unit, calculator.
When you use this tool, you get the ideal product recommendation for your heating and cooling needs. This tool can also help you to calculate the costs of installation, labor, and materials. In some cases, it can also provide an estimate of your potential energy costs during use.
Some HVAC calculators are more specific than others, which provide a more general range. But overall, using one of these is necessary to find the perfectly sized system for your home. Other factors, such as a specific brand, are still left up to whatever you prefer.
What Are Some of the Factors That an HVAC Calculator Takes into Account?
To find the perfect HVAC system, there are numerous things you’ll have to consider. Some of which you may not have even thought of.
For instance, you should take the climate of your area into account. For your home specifically, there are quite a few important factors. In general, you’ll want to look at both the size and the overall design of your home. As for specific elements that make a difference, these can include:
- Square footage of your home. If you don’t know this number offhand, it may be included on a blueprint of the house. Or you can attempt to measure it yourself.
- Don’t forget about the height. You may also need to measure how high the ceilings in the rooms are.
- The different purposes and/or types of individual rooms.
- How many people live in your home.
- The number of windows.
- The airtightness of your home’s windows and doors.
- How much natural sunlight/sun exposure and shade comes into your home.
- Insulation quality, grade, and amount.
- Air ducts/ductwork.
- Radiators and other heat-generating appliances, specifically how much wattage these devices require.
Why Does the Size of an HVAC System Matter?
Using an HVAC calculator helps you find the right size of system for your home. If you don’t have a lot of experience with HVAC systems, you may be confused about why size really matters. You also may not realize just how many different sizes of systems are available out there.
The wrong size HVAC system won’t just look awkward or not fit a space well. It will also have negative effects on your home for years to come. Your HVAC system won’t be able to make your home perfectly comfortable, which is its main purpose. The wrong size system will also wind up being inefficient. And an inefficient system means you’ll end up with much higher utility bill costs.
Every home has a number of specific factors that influence what the right-sized HVAC system will be. These include the angles, shapes, and sizes of corners, ceilings, and floors. These all make up part of what an HVAC technician will refer to as a load requirement.
What Is Your Home’s Load Requirement?
This term refers to the amount of space in your home that needs heating and cooling. By using an HVAC calculator to find out your home’s load requirement, you will be able to find the system that provides you with the ultimate comfort.
What Happens If Your HVAC System Is Larger or Smaller Than the Recommended Size?
You may be thinking, if the unit I get is a little larger than what an HVAC calculator recommends, will it really be that bad? Larger units can often heat or cool the rooms faster, which is why some prefer them. But while that is definitely a plus, something to keep in mind is that the unit will not dehumidify the room as well. This means even if it’s the right temperature, it won’t be very comfortable.
Also, a too large a system will spend most of its operating time in the startup cycle, which leads to short cycling. Short cycling strains the HVAC system, making it much less efficient. Short cycling can even lead to your system breaking down much sooner than it’s supposed to. You don’t want to have to go through the HVAC system shopping process all over again so soon.
A similar risk comes with choosing a system that is too small. The HVAC system will end up wasting too much energy, which will only lead to negative effects. And for all the energy wasted, it still won’t provide nearly enough heat or cool air. In some cases, too small a unit leaves you feeling as if no cool or hot air even came into the room at all.
So, You Used the HVAC Calculator. Now What?
Once you receive your results, be sure to either write them down or print them out. Your full results are important to have on hand when making that final HVAC system decision.
Whichever system is best for you, turn to us at Entek for the highest quality of service. With over 75 years of experience providing service to the Pacific Northwest area, you can trust that we’re the experts. You can find more information on us as well as more helpful tips for your HVAC system on our website.