Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

What Should You Consider When Assessing Your HVAC Needs?

What Should You Consider When Assessing Your HVAC Needs?Considering the intense and prolonged heat Yuma experiences for months on end, it’s important to carefully assess your HVAC needs. When it’s time to replace a system, there’s more to it than just buying and installing a new one.

The technology used to make new equipment more energy efficient works best when systems are the right size for the homes in which they’re installed. Reputable HVAC contractors conduct detailed load calculations of the structure before determining its size in tons or BTUs (British thermal units).

The load calculation measures the total energy efficiency of the home by factoring in its:

  • Cubic footage
  • Insulation levels in the walls and attic
  • Window placement, efficiency and size
  • Rate of air leakage
  • Floorplan design
  • Preferred indoor temperatures
  • Heat-producing appliances indoors
  • Family size and ages
  • Landscaping factors

After inputting each of these items into software called Manual J, the technician will recommend a size for the new system. Miscalculating the capacity of the new equipment compromises its energy efficiency and your comfort.

When equipment is too small for your HVAC needs, it has to work harder to keep your home comfortable. An undersized system will struggle during the heat of the summer and rooms with western exposure or those further from the air handler may be uncomfortably warm.

Equipment that’s too big runs in short cycles, which also undermine comfort and energy efficiency. HVAC equipment uses the most energy when it first starts. When it short cycles, it turns on and off frequently, driving up electricity bills. Short cycles also leave humidity behind and the systems tend to break down earlier because of all the starts and stops.

Besides right-sizing your equipment, the load calculation will help you find areas where you can improve your home’s energy efficiency. Sealing air leaks and adding attic insulation are easy, affordable projects that reduce the equipment size you need.

Assessing your HVAC needs is a collaborative project between you and your HVAC contractor. If you’d like to learn more, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company, providing HVAC services for Yuma-area homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC needs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183. 

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