Why Your Older Home’s HVAC System Needs a Load Calculation

When you buy an older home in Greenwood, LA, you don’t necessarily know who had the HVAC system installed or whether it is right for the house. A professional load calculation helps you decide whether your home’s AC is over- or undersized. Either scenario could increase your energy bills and lead to wasted money, so it pays to have your HVAC system evaluated after you move in.

What Is an Oversized HVAC System?

When an HVAC system is too large for a home, it runs far more often. It only takes a few minutes to meet the temperature at which you set your thermostat, then it shuts off again. In addition to increasing wear and tear on your system’s components, this also uses unnecessary electricity. You’ll see higher energy bills because of the constant activity.

A load calculation will decide whether you have an oversized unit. Maybe your home’s builder made a mistake, or perhaps the previous owners attempted an ill-advised DIY installation and didn’t realize they bought the wrong unit. Whatever the case, installing an HVAC system that’s properly sized for your home will drastically improve your home’s efficiency.

What Is an Undersized HVAC System?

An undersized HVAC system isn’t strong enough to support the desired temperature inside your home. It must work harder than it should, so it wastes energy. You might notice that your AC runs constantly during the summer months, for instance, or that the thermostat shows a higher temperature than the one you programmed into it.

Not only will an undersized HVAC system have an abbreviated lifespan, but it also costs extra money to run. You’ll see sky-high cooling bills in the summer and greater heating bills in the winter. Plus, your system will probably need more repairs because of its overtaxed components.

How Does a Load Calculation Help?

The?Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) approves specific software programs for Manual J load calculations. Only a trained HVAC professional can administer this software to decide whether your HVAC system is under- or over-sized. If you’ve bought an older home, you won’t know whether your unit is sized correctly unless you consult an expert.

A load calculation takes into account many factors when determining the proper size HVAC system for your home. It considers the amount and quality of insulation, for instance, as well as the number and direction of windows and doors, the number of people in your home, and the total square footage of heated and cooled space.

Your geographic location should also play a part in sizing your air conditioner and furnace. The high humidity levels in Louisiana influence how your home feels; when humidity rises, you feel warmer even if you don’t raise the temperature on your thermostat.

Inexperienced contractors might rely on the size of the previous HVAC unit when replacing it or calculate the size based exclusively on the square footage. These mistakes lead to over- and undersized HVAC systems as well as unhappy homeowners. If you want your home to run at full efficiency, hire an experienced HVAC technician for a load calculation.

What If the HVAC System Is the Wrong Size?

The load calculation might find that your current HVAC system doesn’t align with the load requirements of your home. In this case, you’ll save money and use less energy if you replace the offending unit. For example, if your air conditioner is too small, you’ll lower your energy bills if you replace it with an AC that boasts a greater capacity.

Consult with your HVAC technician about purchasing and installing a new air conditioner or furnace. He or she can help you select a model that offers energy efficiency and other benefits over the older version. While it costs money to buy and install an HVAC unit, you’ll save money in the long run because of the new unit’s efficient operation.

If you’re concerned about your HVAC unit’s sizing, give Pioneer Comfort Systems a call at?318-795-8000 so we can schedule a consultation. We’ll help you choose the best air conditioner or furnace for your home so you don’t have to worry about wasted energy.

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