Bigger isn’t always better.

If you’re planning a remodeling project that will involve heating and cooling systems – or if it’s time to replace old units, don’t “over buy.” The fact is that installing units that are bigger than necessary can actually cost you in higher energy bills and make your home less comfortable.

Seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?

You’d think that a bigger unit would have to work less hard to heat or cool the house. Turns out just the opposite is true. When a unit is too large, it cycles on and off more frequently than a right-sized unit, resulting in more wear-and-tear and higher energy bills compared to a right-sized unit that just comes on and runs steadily.

Plus, a home with an over-sized unit will feel less comfortable. With air conditioning, for example, the frequent on/off cycling creates short, cold bursts of air rather than a cool, steady temperature. Likewise, the humidity is less comfortable because the cycling means that less moisture is actually removed from the home.

So, what’s the right size for your home?

If your remodeling project involves a new heating or cooling system, make sure you get one that is right-sized for your home. According to Energy Star, some contractors simply use square footage or “rules of thumb” to size units. But we know it takes more thinking than that to do the accurate load calculations needed to come up with the right-sized unit.

We have the experience to understand how two remodeling projects in our area with identical square footage – even the same number of windows and doors – can have different heating and cooling challenges. For example, an addition that faces south is likely to require more cooling power than an identical addition that faces north. So, when it comes to right-sizing the new heating and cooling system, here are the factors that we consider:

  • The space itself: the direction it faces, square footage, ceiling height, layout, etc.
  • The size, type and number of windows and the direction they face
  • Shading (e.g., trees, overhangs, etc.)
  • The overall energy efficiency of the home (e.g., how well windows, doors and ducts are sealed, how the home is insulated, etc.)

If you are thinking about remodeling, we’d be happy to share more ideas for making your space not only beautiful and functional, but comfortable and energy-efficient as well. Just give us a call.