- If you are in the market for an HVAC system, you are probably wondering what size you should get.
- Choosing the right size is most important when choosing an HVAC system.
- The problem with short cycling is that high voltage components in the HVAC unit use the most amount of power (wattage and amps) when they are starting up.
How Do I Choose the Right Size HVAC System?
If you are in the market for an HVAC system, you are probably wondering what size you should get. Choosing the right size is most important when choosing an HVAC system. The energy efficiency of the unit is a close second.
HVAC systems aren’t cheap to buy or install. Getting the wrong size would not only mean a bad investment and poor user experience, but it will also end up costing a lot more to run and maintain a mismatched HVAC system on your property. To save you from all that trouble, we have gathered some information about getting the right-sized HVAC.
Most people make the mistake of getting a system that is too small for their needs. Small systems need to constantly run to keep the space cooled/heated. Since they can’t output enough BTUs, they aren’t able to cool the room if the compressor can turn off.
The compressor also happens to be the most power-hungry component of the entire HVAC. When your compressor is constantly running at full power, it’s drawing maximum current, and you are going to have to pay for that electricity used.
You may think that getting a unit slightly bigger than your needs will do the opposite. That the compressor won’t have to run extensively, and you will get better cooling. While that is true, it leads to another problem known as short cycling.
Short cycling is when the compressor/furnace and the fans are constantly turning on and off. The system cools the room in a matter of minutes and turns off, but the temperature drops a few minutes later, and the system has to restart. The problem is that high voltage components in the HVAC unit use the most amount of power (wattage and amps) when they are starting up. Once they are running, their wattage drops significantly.
For instance, a 5000 BTU system may require 1500 watts to start up, but once it’s running, it may only use 500 watts to keep going. When you constantly pull 1500 watts (or more) out of your sockets repeatedly, it will not do your electricity bills any favors.
Power consumption is a major issue with mismatched HVAC systems, but the other issue is the stress that it causes to the system. Whether a system is short-cycling or constantly running to keep the home cool/warm, that’s a lot of work for the system to do.
Naturally, the wear and tear on everything from electric to mechanical components are higher in such situations. When electricity is running through these systems, they also heat up, and having to run means these systems get a lot hotter than they should constantly.
All of this impacts the longevity and reliability of your HVAC unit. When you are spending thousands of dollars, you want to have the highest reliability and durability possible.
Finding the Right Size
A rule of thumb is to calculate the area of a room/home and multiply the total area by 25 BTU to get the size that you need. Another option is to use online calculators that will calculate the size of the unit you need in more detail, given the specifications of your home. Another option is to call a professional and have them calculate what sized system you should get.
Taking care of your system is very easy to do. If you need assistance with maintenance or installation or just need a quick consultation to learn about what’s right for your home, call Sharon’s Heating and Cooling at (734) 425-1415 for an answer to your questions