At this time of year, if you have decided to upgrade your heater, you may find yourself in a bit of a scramble. When the colder temperatures arrive, and your old heater is struggling, you’re likely to want a new heater in place before the really cold weather arrives. Unfortunately, in your haste to buy a new heater, you may make the mistake of not properly sizing your equipment. This can be a costly mistake, so here is a brief guide on how to size a new heater for your home.

Why Does It Matter?

Many homeowners assume that bigger is better, so opt for the largest heating unit they can afford. Unfortunately, this can cause problems. While it may seem obvious that an underpowered heating system will struggle to adequately heat your home, a larger unit may equally struggle. Overpowered heating units are prone to short cycling. This is a term for quickly turning on and off, and it drains more power than it should and cause excessive wear and tear throughout the system. This means that like Goldilocks, your system needs to be just right; the perfect balance and neither under or overpowered.

Finding The Correct Size:

Unfortunately, sizing a new heater is not as simple as picking a television screen size. Every home has its own particular characteristics and requirements, so there are a lot of factors that need to be considered to determine the correct size of heating equipment needed. These factors include;

The Power Output: This number is denoted in BTUs or British Thermal Units, and it is based on how much power the unit can handle.

The AFUE: This figure is represented as a percentage, and it is used to denote the amount of energy used for heating from the total energy consumed. The higher the percentage, the lower the amount of energy that is lost to energy efficiency and waste. The AFUE and power output need to sync as a lower powered unit with a high efficiency will be less suitable for your home than a unit with the proper power output and average efficiency.

The Orientation, Size, and Shape of Your Home: The layout of your home and its size and orientation will have a massive impact on the demands placed upon a heating system.

Your Home’s Insulation Levels: Whether your home is well insulated or lacking insulating materials will affect the heating system options that are best suited to your home.

Your Household: The number of people in your household and the age of the occupants will also influence your heating choices.

Getting Help Sizing Your Heating System:

Since there are a lot of factors to consider when sizing a new heating system, it is a good idea to obtain help from a heating professional. An experienced HVAC specialist will perform an audit of your home to determine all of the factors that will affect the size of heating system required. In most cases, this will start with the basic square footage of your home, but there will be other considerations. For example, the kitchen tends to generate more heat compared to other parts of your home, the sunlight exposure and amount of insulation inside your walls will all influence your choice of heating systems.