Is it time to choose a new HVAC system for your Corpus Christi, TX, home? The most important thing to keep in mind is that bigger isn’t always better. Picking the wrong-size unit for your home will result in several problems. Read on to learn about HVAC load calculations and why they’re important.

What Are HVAC Load Calculations?

HVAC load calculations are the total figures determined that will ensure the system you have installed in your home will keep it heated or cooled at the correct temperature at all times. We calculate the HVAC load using the input of several factors such as:

  • Local climate.
  • Total area of your home in square feet.
  • Grade of insulation you used in your home’s construction or remodeling.
  • Amount of exposure to direct sunlight your house receives.
  • How many people live in the house
  • Total number of windows and exterior doors the house has.

Service technicians calculate and then combine this information to determine the correct size of the HVAC system you’ll need for your home. This information helps narrow your choices significantly.

Why is HVAC Load Important?

Knowing about HVAC load and how service technicians calculate it will ensure that the right system goes into your home. A unit that’s too small to meet the dwelling’s specific HVAC load needs will become overworked and worn out from trying to keep the space heated or cooled to meet the thermostat setting. A unit that’s too large will experience the same problems, but they will occur because a too-large unit will continuously cycle off and on as it tries to meet the temperature requirements.

Regardless of whether your HVAC unit is too small or too large, the wrong-size system will have a negative impact on the indoor air quality of your home. A system that’s too small to accommodate your home’s HVAC load won’t be able to cool the air adequately, meaning that your home will feel too warm. If the system is too large, then the air inside your home will feel humid and uncomfortable.

How Do We Determine the HVAC Load?

We measure the HVAC load in British Thermal Units, or BTUs, and tons. We determine the power of an HVAC system by the number of BTUs it’s able to handle. Then we calculate the HVAC load using the following formula:

Measure Your Home’s Size in Square Feet

The first step in finding out your home’s HVAC load is to determine its size in square feet. You can either use the blueprints, or you can manually measure each space. You will then multiply these numbers to find the approximate area in square feet that a new HVAC system will need to keep warm or cool.

Figure in Windows, Exterior doors and More

Determine the total number of windows and exterior doors the house has. Factor in sun exposure, the number of appliances in the home that generate heat, how airtight the house is and the grade of insulation used during your home’s construction or any follow-up renovations or home improvement projects. If you’re unable to find this information, it’s helpful to know that U.S. Standard Insulation is the most common type of home insulation that companies use. Once you have gathered all this information, we use the following formula to calculate BTUs and add:

  • 100 BTUs per person living in the home.
  • 1,000 BTUs per window.
  • 1,000 BTUs per exterior door.
  • Together totals to determine BTUs.

Let’s take a look at an example. This is what your formula will look like using the calculations for a 2,500 square foot house with five residents, eight windows and two exterior doors:

  • 2,500 x 25 = 62,500 (your base BTU figure).
  • 5 residents x 100 = 500 BTU.
  • 8 windows x 1000 = 8,000 BTU.
  • 2 exterior doors x 1,000 = 2,000 BTU.
  • 62,500 + 500 + 8000 + 2000 = 73,000 BTU.

Making sure that you have all the information you need to choose the right HVAC system for your home is essential for avoiding problems later. Rest assured your home and family will be as comfortable as possible by contacting Bodine-Scott Air Conditioning Co. for assistance or with any questions.

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