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What Size Heat Pump Do I Need?

The right size heat pump can help ensure that your HVAC system is heating and cooling your home in the most efficient way possible. This attention to detail saves you money and helps maintain the longevity of your HVAC system. While some contractors may want to take shortcuts when choosing the right heat pump, these shortcuts will cost you additional time and money in the long run.

How to Size a Heat Pump

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America have created a standard sizing practice called the Manual J Method. This method is used across the country by the HVAC industry. To use this method, your contractor will take the following into consideration:

  • The local climate and the temperature variation by degrees throughout the year.
  • Your home’s design, including your square footage and your home’s overall shape.
  • Your home’s insulation, and whether the insulation meets the appropriate efficiency rating.
  • How many windows your home has and their location.
  • How much air infiltration occurs in the home.
  • How many people live in your home.
  • The temperature preferences of the people who live in the home.
  • Other appliances and lighting that generate heat.

If your contractor doesn’t use this method, your heat pump may not efficiently heat and cool your home.

The Importance of Sizing Your Heat Pump

Installing the right size heat pump helps you save energy costs and helps your HVAC system last over time. If the contractor installs a heat pump that is too large or too small, your HVAC may have increased on-and-off cycling, which puts pressure on the blower motor. You may experience drastic temperature shifts in the home, which can be uncomfortable and bothersome. You may also have higher energy costs, and your indoor humidity may be ineffectively controlled. Your HVAC system may also experience short-cycling, which places wear and tear on the system.

Insist that your contractor use the Manual J Method, including taking measurements of the home, inspecting the home’s insulation, asking questions about how you and your family use the home, counting windows, and inputting numbers into the software program. These thorough steps will help ensure that your contractor is meeting industry standards set forth by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

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