The most important aspect of choosing a new heat pump is properly sizing the system. Going by the size of the existing equipment can be misleading, however, resulting in higher energy bills and maintenance costs throughout the life of the heat pump. HVAC contractors use computer software Manual J to calculate the home’s cooling and heating loads, which then allows for proper system sizing. Manual J takes into account several factors including:
- Cubic footage you need to heat and cool
- Orientation of your home
- Insulation levels
- Windows, their placement, and energy efficiency
- Air infiltration rates
- The layout of the home
- Preferred indoor temperatures
- Number of household members and their ages
- Local climate
- Landscaping factors
Once they’ve made the calculation, they move on to determining the ductwork size and layout, using Manual D, which is another component of the sizing process that affects the heat pump’s performance. The ductwork needs to match the capacity of the indoor blower’s airflow rates.
When you work with the contractor on the sizing process, improving your home’s energy efficiency can lower the size of the system you need. Installing more attic insulation or sealing air leaks will reduce your conditioning load and allow for a smaller heat pump. Smaller equipment means a lower purchase price and reduces monthly energy bills for years to come.
A new heat pump that’s too large will raise your energy bills and stress the equipment. The pump will short cycle, which means it runs in short bursts and starts more frequently. This stresses parts and provides uneven cooling and heating, and inadequate air filtration and humidity control.
A heat pump that’s too small won’t adequately cool or warm your home during weather extremes.
If you would like more information about a new heat pump and the sizing process, please contact us at Pipe Works Services We’ve provided superior HVAC services for New Jersey homeowners for more than a decade.