When It Comes To HVAC, Size Matters

Posted on: 19 January 2015

When you go shopping for a new car, you already know that bigger does not necessarily mean you will get a better ride. You certainly do not head over to the tanks at the military base and insist that you would be better off driving one. And yet, this is precisely what a lot of people do when they look to buy a new furnace or air conditioning condenser. They assume that a bigger unit means better heating and air conditioning. But, when you do some research, you discover that finding the perfect machine for your home means selecting the right size.


Some websites will tell you that you can choose your furnace based entirely on the square footage of the home. But, this is not entirely true. While the size of the rooms you need to heat do factor into the furnace you should select, there are other concerns in play. If you have:

  • many south-facing windows
  • a home made of brick
  • landscaping near the house

you may not need a furnace quite as large, according to SFGate. While you can certainly size your new furnace based on the old one, this does not help you much if you are building a new home. And you must make the decision based on efficiency as well. Furnace sizes are based on the amount of British thermal units (BTUs) they produce, as well as their efficiency. A furnace operating with an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 95 percent will produce more efficient heat than a similar-size furnace with an AFUE of 80 percent.

Air Conditioners

You face the same deliberation with your air conditioner as well. It is genuinely important to get an air conditioning condenser that is not too big. The U.S. Department of Energy notes that you rely on your air conditioning to remove humidity from the room as well as heat. If the unit is too large, it will cool down the house faster than it can lower the humidity, leading to a damp, uncomfortable home. When you consider your options for air conditioners, be sure to assess the state of your insulation. Improving your insulation to minimum local standards will help you size your air conditioner to provide you with comfort during the hotter months.

Buying an air conditioner or a furnace ought to be like buying a car. You need the model that will suit your needs, but not present too much force for you to manage. With these tips in mind, you can work with a local HVAC contractor like Arnold Service Co to find the right unit for your home.