If you’re not comfortable in your own home, does it really feel like home at all? Setting the right temperature to keep cool during heat waves or stay warm on a cold winter night plays a big role in that comfort. Even if you already have a perfectly functioning heating and cooling system in your home, you may not realize that the size (capacity) of that system could be costing you more money to operate and affect the comfort of your home. In order to properly heat and cool your home, there are a number of factors that go into sizing your unit. Here’s what you need to know about finding the right sized heat pump for your home.

If a Heat Pump is Undersized or Oversized

Does it really matter if your heat pump isn’t quite the right size? Yes, it really does. That is unless you enjoy paying higher utility costs and extra repair fees. If a unit is too small, it will struggle to produce enough energy to heat and cool your home. To compensate, it will work harder to meet temperature demands, wasting energy and money or breaking down altogether. In contrast, if the unit is too large, it will produce excess energy, which will also waste resources. Other problems that may occur as a result are:

  • Increased on-and-off cycling (resulting in increased stress on the motor blower)
  • Uncomfortable, drastic temperature differences
  • Ineffective control of indoor humidity
  • Short-cycling

How do I Size a Heat Pump?

To size a heat pump for any home, the HVAC industry follows a standard sizing method known as Manual J, established by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. This procedure goes room-by-room to help determine how much conditioned air each room needs for both heating and cooling. It looks at eight different factors to establish the appropriate heat pump size for your home.

The eight factors considered in Manual J:

1. The local climate and how many days a year you need active heating and cooling
2. The home’s layout, such as square footage and shape
3. The number and location of windows
4. How much air infiltration occurs
5. How much insulation the home has- whether it meets the region’s efficiency rating
6. How many people live in the home
7. How residents use the home and their temperature preferences
8. Other appliances in the home that generate heat

What Size Heat Pump do I Need in My Home?

While all these factors are used by contractors to determine the exact size heat pump you need, there is a general rule of thumb you can follow. For every 500-600 square feet of conditioned floor area, install one ton of air conditioning capacity. And since most sizes of heat pumps are determined by BTU (or British Thermal Unit), you’ll also need to know that each ton is worth 12.000 BTU.

A Manual J may seem a little complex for homeowners who aren’t heating or cooling professionals. That’s where our team of experts will determine what size heat pump is right for your home.

Other Factors to Consider

Once you know what size heat pump you need, there are a few other factors to consider as you invest in a new heat pump. You obviously want a good price, but higher upfront costs may be worth it to save you higher monthly operating costs during the life of your unit. Here’s what to look for:

  • Energy Efficiency Ratings: SEER and HSPF. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit.
  • Blower Motor Type: Fixed Speed, Multi-Speed, Variable Speed. These describe the type of blower motor and will affect how efficient the heat pump works and its ability to provide comfort.
  • Compressor Type: Single Stage and Two-Stage. The first compressor only heats/cools at full blast, while the other has two different levels.

Delaware Valley’s Heating and Cooling Experts

Sizing your heat pump properly is crucial to the comfort and efficiency of your home. To make sure you get the best heat pump for your family’s home and avoid extra costs and hassle a poorly sized unit can cause, contact our team of experts to do the calculating for you. We’ll guide your decision so you can enjoy higher effectiveness, fewer repairs, and a longer lasting system. Click here for even more home heating systems comparisons.

Get expert help

Our team of experts can help you find the best heat pump for your home so you can live in total comfort. Click below to schedule an appointment online or give us a call at 610-825-4400.

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