Purchasing a new HVAC system isn’t simply a matter of choosing a furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump and having it installed. Before you invest in a home heating or cooling system, you must know how much heating and cooling your home requires. Once you know this number, you can then buy an HVAC unit that’s the right size to provide that amount of indoor comfort–no more and no less.

To find the heating and cooling load of your home, your HVAC contractor should evaluate your home in person and perform a load calculation. A load calculation allows your HVAC professional to take into consideration the particular thermal characteristics of your home to determine how much heating and cooling you need to keep your home at the temperature you prefer.

This calculation is extremely important in equipment sizing. An HVAC system that’s too small to do the job will not be able to heat or cool properly and will likely wear out or break down sooner because of excess wear and tear. A unit that’s bigger than necessary will waste energy and money and will not be able to condition your living spaces evenly and consistently.

Load calculations should be performed according to accepted HVAC industry procedures and standards, such as those detailed in the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual J. The load calculation will evaluate and incorporate factors such as:

Size and shape of home Local weather and climate

Directional orientation of the home

Amount and type of insulation

Window location, number, and type

Number of heat-generating lights and appliances

Seal, or airtightness, of the home and the presence of air leaks

Type of construction materials used to build the house

Location and efficiency of vents, registers, and ductwork

Homeowner temperature and comfort preferences

Pipe Works Services is a leading plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractor serving HVAC customers in Chatham and the surrounding areas in New Jersey. Contact us today for more information on HVAC system sizing, heating, and cooling load calculations, and how both factors influence the purchase of an HVAC system that will best heat or cool your home. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chatham, NJ, and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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