So what all is taken into consideration when a quality contractor properly sizes your new or replacement HVAC system? The following includes, but may not be limited to, everything the individual should take note of.
Here are the basics: Which direction does your home face as it is situated on the lot? I always refer to Google Earth to verify. This gives me a bird’s eye view of the home and will let me determine which windows face north, south, east and west. If the house has a lot of glass with either morning or evening sun, the contractor needs to take note of this. All of the glass factors into the load though. How much insulation do you have in the walls, ceilings, or floor if over a crawlspace? He will determine how tight the structure is to know what level of infiltration to allow for. What color is the roof? What type of doors? How much foundation is above or below the grade? What are the ceiling heights? What is the square footage? What types of appliances are in place that may generate heat? What is the occupancy?
Here are other legitimate considerations: What is your lifestyle? In other words, if you entertain a lot, then the number of guests will affect how well the proposed system will perform at those times. Do you prefer to maintain temperatures above or below the normal design temperatures? Is the home occupied around the clock or would an energy savings set-back control be more cost-effective?
If retired, you probably don’t want to vary the temperature settings very much. Something else to remember is if you can find a temperature you are comfortable with, set the thermostat and leave it. Setting the thermostat up and down throughout the day will only increase the operating cost and may have little appreciable effect on comfort.
These are all legitimate areas that need to be acknowledged when a contractor performs a proper heat loss / heat gain program for your home. Follow along next week as we explore further additional information that will help you assure you are getting a properly installation and properly sized HVAC system.
John L. Lloyd