Is Bigger Better In Home Furnaces? 

When many homeowners are making a new purchase, they want to buy the nicest, best, and biggest version of the appliance or tool they are searching for.
While conventional wisdom might make you think that bigger is always better, that isn’t the case when it comes to home furnaces. How can you ensure your furnace is appropriately-sized for your house?

Why Is an Oversized Furnace a Bad Thing?

It sounds counterintuitive, but having a furnace that is too big for your home could lead to some rooms feeling colder than before. As the heating system runs, some places will heat rapidly until the thermostat determines the right temperature is reached. Then, the system will shut off. This means that some parts of the home might be barely warm while areas near the thermostat are heated up to an uncomfortable extent.

Choosing a furnace that is too big for the square footage of your home also leads to poor energy efficiency. The furnace will be kicking on and off more often, which increases the amount of energy being used. Additionally, this pattern of starting and stopping leads to more wear and tear, which increases the amount you’ll spend on repairs and shortens the length of time before replacement is necessary.

Humidity problems are also more likely to occur with oversized units. Stable humidity levels are critical to your comfort, and elevated levels due to improper heating can create an environment where mold thrives. Mold is a common indoor allergen that is particularly damaging in the winter when your windows are closed and air circulation is decreased.

What Determines the Right  Size for Your Home?

When examining furnace options, some people assume that a higher number of BTUs is preferable. However, that is not the case. The right BTU capacity for your furnace will depend on a variety of things, including the square footage of your house, your home’s ductwork, the sun exposure of your home, the climate of the area, and the condition of the house. An HVAC technician can help you determine the right BTU amount for your needs.

Are Undersized Furnaces Better?

No! Having a furnace that is too small for the house’s square footage is also a bad thing. In this case, the furnace will not be able to heat the home efficiently enough to counteract the chill. When furnaces are too small, they might run constantly to keep up. This will increase your energy spending and accelerate wear and tear on the unit.

What Are the Signs That Your Furnace Is Too Big for Your Home?

An inspection from an HVAC technician can determine if the heating system in your home is not appropriately sized. However, other indicators can help you determine whether or not your furnace is too big, including:

  • Short cycling, or turning on and off frequently with only short periods in between
  • Hot and cold spots from room to room or floor to floor
  • Sudden increases in your heating costs or energy spending
  • Loud noises coming from the furnace
  • Problems with humidity levels fluctuating or leading to mold growth
  • More repairs or more frequent repairs are needed than usual

What Can You Do If Your Furnace Is Oversized?

Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for an oversized furnace short of replacing it entirely. When you are shopping for a replacement furnace, ensure that you work with an experienced HVAC professional like Hoot Heating & Air, who can review a variety of factors to guide you to the right unit for your needs. Once you have the right heating system installed, it will be easy to maintain a consistent and comfortable temperature without breaking the bank.

Have questions? We’ve got answers! Call Hoot today and let us make it east for you, we really do give a hoot! Contact Hoot at 443-309-8420.