How Does a Professional HVAC Contractor Size a Room?
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, commonly known as HVAC systems, are to heat or cool a home and to replace stale air with a fresh one from outside. One important thing to think about when looking for this type of system is the size. Sizing means the performance capabilities of an HVAC system, not how large the equipment is. The size of a system is done in British Thermal Units, or BTU, which measure the amount of air a system produces.
Many residential systems are not sized correctly, which does create several drawbacks to homeowners. An under-sized one does not heat or cool enough air to keep a home comfortable, and a big one will make a house too cold or too hot. Systems which are too small are not up to controlling any moisture and humidity found in the home and will not offer effective ventilation. A big a system, on the other hand, is extremely loud and expensive to run. They cost more up front due to the larger cooling and heating units which have to be bought.
Basic HVAC sizing is 12,000 BTU for every five hundred sq feet of space, which your HVAC contractor should know. However, some contractors use tons of air every hour not BTU, with one ton being equal to 12,000 BTU. This rule is used by several HVAC contractor companies, and this normally results in homeowners getting a system which is not sized correctly. More and more contractors are using more effective ways of calculating loads to be able to size a HVAC system more effectively.
The Air Conditioning Contractors of America have a publication referred to as Manual J, which aims to help contractors with sizing HVAC systems. This manual offers the most widely used rules for sizing based upon the needs of the homeowner, not the square footage calculations.
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