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Everything You Need to Know About Heat Pump Sizing

Heat Pump

Heat pumps offer an energy-efficient way to cool and heat your home in Millbrook, AL. As with other HVAC units, a heat pump must be the right size for the home, as numerous issues can occur if it’s too large or too small. Read on to learn about heat pump sizing to understand why it’s so important for maximizing energy efficiency and home comfort.

Important Factors When Sizing a Heat Pump

Two of the most important factors when choosing the correct size of heat pump are the size of the building and the climate zone. The climate zone is important as it helps determine how many BTUs (British Thermal Units) you need per square foot to effectively cool and heat the home.

Millbrook, AL, is in climate zone 3. In this zone, expert recommend that heat pumps and other HVAC units produce around 40 to 45 BTUs for every square foot for both heating and cooling. This means you would usually need a 40,000- to 45,000-BTU heat pump to effectively cool and heat a 1,000-square-foot home.

How HVAC Service Technicians Size Heat Pumps

When determining what size of heat pump or other unit is needed, HVAC service technicians perform something known as a Manual J calculation. This calculation takes into account factors like the square footage of the building and the ceiling height.

It also involves other important factors, such as:

  • The level of insulation in the building.

  • How much direct sunlight or shade the building gets during the day.
  • The number, size and location of all windows.

These factors are essential as they play a major role in heat gain and/or heat loss. In addition, the service technician will take into account how many people live in or occupy the building, as the more people there are, the more BTUs you need.

This calculation gives a far more accurate estimation of what size the heat pump needs to be. If these factors aren’t considered, there’s a good chance your new heat pump will either be too large or too small to work effectively and efficiently.

What Happens if a Heat Pump is Too Large or Too Small?

Major issues can occur if your heat pump is either too large or too small for your home and your specific heating and cooling requirements. If the unit is undersized, it simply won’t be able to heat and cool your home effectively. As a result, the unit will need to run for much longer and more frequently, especially on hotter or colder days.

Undersized heat pumps will typically cause your house to always feel too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. If the heat pump is too small, it’ll also contribute to much higher energy costs. Undersized heat pumps are also likely to break down, need repairs more frequently and have a shorter overall lifespan.

The saying that bigger is better isn’t necessarily true when it comes to heat pumps and other HVAC units, and many issues can occur if a heat pump is oversized. If the heat pump is too large, it’ll only run for a short time before shutting off. This typically leads to major temperature fluctuations with some parts of your home always remaining much colder or hotter than others.

Oversized heat pumps also tend to have a much shorter lifespan. Constantly turning on and off numerous times in an hour puts a huge amount of strain on the unit and can potentially cause it to overheat and the motor to burn out. If the unit is too large, your energy bills will also be higher, and you’ll likely need more frequent heat pump repairs.

Contact the experts at Air Conditioning by Luquire if you have any questions about heat pumps or need any HVAC services in Millbrook, AL. Our company also offers 24/7 emergency services.

Image provided by iStock

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