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Is Your HVAC System the Right Size for Your Home?

June 18, 2020

A right-sized HVAC system is essential for indoor comfort and energy efficiency. Here’s how to tell whether your Durham HVAC is properly sized.

Determine Ideal System Size with the Manual J Load Calculation

This formula is the gold standard used by HVAC contractors to determine correct system size. The Manual J measures a variety of factors including square footage, shade trees, ceiling height, window placements and insulation levels.

Reputable HVAC contractors always perform a complete Manual J load calculation prior to a new system installation. Less reputable contractors will simply install a system based on an estimated load or install an updated version of what you have now. Houses change over time. The right-sized system of 10 years ago may not be right-sized today.

What’s Wrong With a Poorly Sized HVAC Installation?

  • Short cycling: A too-big system will cycle on, quickly heat or cool the area near the thermostat and cycle off. It won’t run long enough to heat or cool the whole house, so it will cycle on again a few minutes later.
  • Hot and cold spots: Because the cycles are so short, only certain rooms will feel comfortable. Other rooms will always be too hot or too cold.
  • Poor humidity control: Your house may feel sticky and uncomfortable. High humidity encourages the growth of mold.
  • Excessive energy consumption: Because a too-large system is constantly turning on and off, you’ll have higher utility bills.

A system that’s too small is just as bad. It will constantly run in a futile attempt to maintain the desired temperature.

A Right-sized System Is Worth the Investment

When you run a short-cycling system, it’s like driving on a hot day in stop-and-go traffic. It increases equipment wear and tear and can cause the system to break down prematurely.

At Lee Air Conditioning, we always perform a complete Manual J load calculation prior to an HVAC installation. Call us to learn more about the benefits of a right-sized system.

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