Are you in the market for a new furnace? With cooler weather rapidly approaching, now is a great time to solidify your purchase and schedule that installation. But this doesn’t mean you should rush! In fact, we advise against rushing into such a big investment like this.
First off, you want to make sure that a furnace makes the most sense for home. Just because it’s what you’ve always had doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from a different type of heater. For example, if your air conditioner is also ready to call it quits soon, you may consider a year-round heat pump installation.
Another factor to consider is the size of the furnace you’re purchasing. You probably already know you shouldn’t buy a furnace that’s too small for your home, right? But what about too big? Well, you may be surprised to find that purchasing too large of a furnace can haunt you from day one. Read on to learn more!
The Problem with an Oversized Furnace
First, let’s talk a bit more about what’s wrong with a heating system that’s too small for your home—it won’t be able to generate enough heat to keep your home comfortable. Therefore, it will stay operating for much longer than it was meant to, to try and compensate.
This is the opposite of the problem that will happen if your system were too big, which we’ll get to, but both will have devastating consequences.
So, what if your system is too big? You may be thinking, “wait, so I can’t just buy the biggest heater I can afford?” You can, but you’ll end up regretting it.
The thing is, when a furnace is too big for the home it’s installed in, it generates too much output. This results in the thermostat shutting down the furnace before the system has had a chance to complete a full heating cycle. Heating systems of all sizes are designed to run in cycles, where they generate a set amount of output over a set period of time before resting.
If a furnace is shut down before it ever completes a full heating cycle—a process called short-cycling, by the way—it will experience negative consequences, such as:
- Various components of your heater will wear down faster than they would have otherwise.
- Your furnace won’t be able to actually heat your home efficiently since the furnace will keep cutting it off.
- The overall lifespan of your furnace could be shortened if short-cycling goes on long enough. That’s right, short-cycling isn’t only the symptom of a problem, it’s also the cause of problems!
Correctly Sizing Your Furnace
Correctly sizing your heating system isn’t just a matter of measuring the right physical dimensions, though that is, of course, an important part of the process. You’ll need to look at the overall output of the system relative to the size of your home, the type of insulation you have, the number of windows and doors in your home, and even whether or not you have cathedral ceilings.
Don’t worry about figuring all that out on your own—that’s what our technicians are here for! We go through a process called a heat load calculation to ensure your home is matched with the best furnace possible.