Have you ever heard of a Manual J Load Calculation? A reputable heating and air contractor should perform this evaluation when helping you decide what kind of equipment you need for your home. But what does it do? This calculation takes into account multiple things about your home and comfort needs. A good heating and cooling company should take into consideration things like the square footage of your home (under air), the type of materials your home is made of, insulation, ductwork positioning, wall positions, and more. A few of these are really important factors that are taken into account with a Manual J Load Calculation. If you’re in the market for new air conditioning equipment, you’ve probably heard the terms “BTUs” and “Tons”. In the HVAC world, tons indicate the cooling capacity of A/C units, and refer to the amount of heat required to melt one ton of ice over a 24-hour period. Interestingly, this is actually left over from pre-mechanical periods in HVAC where ice was essential in refrigeration. BTU stands for “British Thermal Unit”, and is formally defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one point of water by one degree Fahrenheit. These terms refer to size in HVAC equipment and what your home will need, and it helps to have a better understanding of the terms used. Why is this calculation important? Having a properly sized system is important in the comfort and health of your home. If a system is not sized properly, it may run constantly, causing your utility costs to skyrocket.

On the other hand, if the system is too big, it may not run through its entire cycle. To some this may sound like a great thing- if it doesn’t run as much, it won’t cost as much money, right? WRONG. This is called short-cycling. An air conditioner not only affects your air temps, but also the humidity. If it doesn’t have time to run through the cycle, it isn’t removing humidity from the air. This can be uncomfortable and encourage mold growth. EW. As far as furnaces go, these calculations help to see how much space the furnace is responsible for heating so that you have the right-sized unit. Not having a properly sized furnace impacts your home in similar ways as not having a properly-sized air conditioner. Higher costs, less comfort, and poorer air quality. If an HVAC company doesn’t visit your home and take these things into account for your system, it may be a sign that you should get another opinion from a different company. Likewise, if someone prices a new system for you over the phone without ever having this information, it’s time to call someone else. At Outstanding Heating & Cooling, we pride ourselves on being trustworthy and giving our customers exactly what they need. We’ve even had customers surprised that we didn’t want to charge as much as other companies because we were going to install a smaller- and properly sized system- in their home. The HVAC service provider you call should be someone you can trust. Give us a call, send us an email, or message us on social media. We will be happy to come out and give you a free estimate on your new system or equipment. And you can be sure that we will take all of these things- and more- into account when it comes to your home.

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Updated Nov 2020