In addition to choosing the optimal Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating and following proper installation guidelines, sizing your home’s heating load before installing new equipment ensures maximum return on investment, not to mention optimal comfort throughout the home and peak energy savings. Learn why sizing your home’s heating load is important.
Two homes with the same square footage may differ greatly in terms of how much heating the homes require in order for home occupants to remain comfortable. That’s why the heating load calculation is imperative. Following a standardized formula for calculating heat load such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), the calculation considers factors such as:
- The amount of insulation in the walls, floors and ceilings
- The airtightness of the building, or how much air leakage occurs
- The orientation of the home to determine how solar radiation affects home heating
- The region’s climate, or heating and cooling degree days
- Window efficiency and the number of windows throughout the home
- The efficiency of the roof
- Comfort preferences of home occupants
With the calculation in hand, the technician can select the right-sized furnace so that it has the capacity to provide heat for the home.
The significance of the load calculation can be seen in a comparison of two homes of similar size, with differing insulation. One home is well-insulated throughout, while the other has insulation installed decades ago, and has never been upgraded. The information from the load calculation may reveal that the latter home requires a much larger furnace to compensate for the poor insulation levels.
Homeowners installing a new furnace can improve home energy efficiency by first having a professional audit of the home performed. Then, before sizing your home’s heating load, work with your contractor to determine which efficiency-boosting projects to perform. Once you improve efficiency, you can most likely install a smaller-sized furnace.
For expert help sizing your home’s heating load, contact Arpi’s Industries today! We serve greater Calgary homeowners with indoor air quality equipment, furnace installations and cooling repairs. Give us a call or visit our website for more information.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Image courtesy of Shutterstock