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How to Choose the Right Size of Furnace for Your Home

furnace size

For a furnace to provide the heat that you need in your home, it must be the correct size. Not only will a properly-sized furnace be more efficient, but it will also help keep your family comfortable during the cold months of the year. Cates Heating and Cooling is here to help you understand how to choose the right size of furnace for your home.

Geographical Climate

The first thing you need to do is consider where you live. In warmer parts of the country, you likely won’t need as large of a furnace as you would if you lived in a colder part of the country. The Kansas City area tends to be in what is considered the second coldest region in the United States, which means that you will need a larger furnace than you would in places like Louisiana, Texas, and Florida.

Know the Size of Your Home

Your home’s square footage is also important in determining the size of your furnace.  It is important to understand that the size of furnace that is appropriate for the square footage of your home is a range, not a specific number. This is due to the other factors such as the climate and the style of home (ranch, split level, etc.).

Most HVAC companies will only include rooms that will be heated in the square footage of your home for this calculation. For this reason, the square footage that the technician comes up with might be different than the overall square footage of your home.

Know the Other Factors to Consider

While the most important aspects of sizing a furnace are the climate and square footage of the home, there are so many other things that you need to take into account when you are determining the size of furnace that you need. You should think about how many floors you have in your home. A single-level home is going to have different needs than a two-story home.

The age of your home is also an important consideration, as well as the condition and thickness of your insulation. These factors all play into how well your home will retain the heat produced by your furnace. The number of windows and how well they are sealed can also play a large role in the size that your furnace needs to be to properly heat your home.

Understand BTU Capacity

Furnaces are sized by the BTU-per-hour input and output capacity. A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is equal to the amount of heat that is required to raise a pound of water by 1°F. The input capacity is the amount of gas that is burned. The input capacity does not take into account the percentage of heat that is lost through the flue. The output capacity is the amount of total usable heat generated by the furnace.

Typically, sizing is measured with BTU ratings that measure the input capacity. Most furnace types come in a variety of models are produced in multiple sizes to allow for more people to use them in their households.

Why Is Proper Furnace Size Important?

There are so many different reasons that it is important to get a properly-sized furnace placed in your home. Oversized and undersized furnaces can cause problems.

If your furnace is too large for your home, you may notice the following problems:

  • Discomfort is common with oversized furnaces because certain areas of your home are likely to heat up too quickly and become too hot for comfort. Uneven temperatures are more common throughout your home if your furnace is the wrong size.
  • Oversized furnaces are inefficient and will cost you more on energy bills because they turn on and off frequently.
  • Wear and tear caused by the frequency of your system turning on and off will also cause your furnace to go out more quickly than a properly sized model.
  • Repairs will be more frequent on a furnace that is too big for your home, which means that you are going to spend a lot more on the system throughout its lifetime.

Furnaces that are too small for your home can cause several problems including:

  • Discomfort is also a problem in homes with undersized furnaces. A furnace that is too small won’t be able to keep up with heating when it is cold outside, and you will be left feeling chilly all winter.
  • High energy bills are common in homes with too-small furnaces, because the system will be running nonstop, which drives up your energy bill significantly.
  • Since your furnace will be running constantly, you’ll be replacing a new furnace sooner than one that is properly sized for your home.
  • Uneven heating is another common problem for homes with undersized furnaces. Are some rooms too hot, others too cold?  You may have an undersized furnace.

With a furnace that is the right size, the system will run more efficiently, which will save you energy and money. Plus, when your system is running efficiently, it is less like to be overworked, so you are likely to save money on repairs and service calls if you have a system that is the right size, not to mention increasing the working life of your furnace.

For homeowners in the Kansas City Metro Area, Cates Heating and Cooling can help determine the perfect furnace for your home to help you save money in the long-run. To have an expert technician come to your home for a free consultation and estimate, contact Cates today at 913-888-4470.

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