The efficiency of an HVAC system depends on how well you match the unit to the home's heating and cooling needs. Buying a larger HVAC system than what you need is just as bad as purchasing a too-small system. Therefore, you need to calculate your home's heating and cooling load before investing in a new system. Load calculation determines the British Thermal Units (BTU) required for sufficient heating and cooling. Below are three benefits of load calculation when installing a new HVAC system.
Proper HVAC Sizing
Load calculation determines the right HVAC size for residential use. This process assesses the various factors that determine the heating and cooling load of interior spaces. These factors include:
- Amount of insulation throughout the home
- Square footage of each indoor space
- Floor plan design and features
- Number and type of windows
- Heat produced due to activities such as cooking and taking hot showers
The load data collected is fed into computer software and used to determine the ideal BTU for your heating and cooling systems. This analysis allows you to invest in a properly sized unit for efficient heating and cooling. Sometimes, you can include information on your preferred heating and cooling settings as well. For example, if you like to crank up the AC during summer, you can buy a larger unit to satisfy the extra cooling load.
Proper Ductwork Design and Sizing
When investing in a ducted HVAC system, you need to design and size the ductwork based on each room's individual needs. Based on the factors listed above, some rooms have higher cooling and heating loads than others. Thus, you cannot use the same ductwork size and design across all the rooms in the home. For example, bigger rooms may require more heating or cooling than smaller ones. With load calculation data, you can properly design and size the ducts for all the individual spaces.
One of the leading causes of airflow issues in a home is poor system design. With ductless systems, you must determine the right number of indoor air handlers for optimal performance. If you install fewer air handlers in large spaces, they won't deliver adequate air. As a result, there will be hot and cold spots throughout the home.
Conversely, if you have a ducted system, you must design and size the ductwork properly. If you install small ducts in large rooms, there will be inadequate airflow. However, with load calculation data, you can determine the airflow needs for each room and design the system appropriately. You will also invest in the correct number of air handlers for sufficient airflow throughout the home.
Load calculation is a crucial step in the HVAC installation process. Contact your HVAC contractor for a professional load assessment of your home.
For more information on load calculation, contact a company like Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar.