Clearwater HVAC Tip: Why Does Load Calculation Matter?

If you are replacing your Clearwater HVAC system, you want one that will efficiently heat and cool your home. Some Clearwater HVAC professionals simply calculate the size of your new unit based solely on the size of your house, which fails to account for a number of factors that will influence your system’s efficiency and effectiveness; or they base their unit on the size of the system that is already there.

While your home’s size is part of the equation, there are several additional factors you should consider when determining load calculation. What is load calculation? It is the the process of determining how much heating and cooling you need for your home. In addition, if you are also replacing ductwork, today’s better insulated duct systems can help lower your home’s need for a larger unit and a properly engineered and installed duct system can help eliminate hot and cold spots within the home.

Local temperature extremes should play a major role in sizing your system. Here in Florida we get more than our fair share of summer heat, and our average summer highs will definitely have a bearing on how big your HVAC system should be.

The shape and the orientation of your home will also affect the choice. For instance, the heating needs of a two-story home with several large, sunny, south-facing windows are very different from those of a shaded one-story house, even if they have the same amount of indoor space.

The amount of insulation in your home, the air infiltration rate, the number of occupants, and your desired comfort level are other factors that will affect your decision. It is also a good idea to factor in heat given off by lights and other major appliances.

Rather than risking poor results by a contractor who goes strictly by square footage or another “rule of thumb,” ask your heating and cooling contractor if they use the ACCA Manual J protocol for performing load calculation. That’s the recommended method published by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.Consumer Reports warns to “be leery of a contractor who bases estimates merely on house size or vague rules of thumb.”

Done correctly, a load calculation can save you money by allowing you to purchase a smaller unit than you already have and reduce your energy use by reducing inefficiency. Contact the professionals at Andy’s Air Inc, A Clearwater HVAC installation company, for any of your AC needs.

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