For those who live in wintry climates, having a reliable furnace is of the utmost importance. Yet many people struggle when the time comes to upgrade--often ending up with a model that doesn't meet their needs as well as it could. If you have plans to replace your old furnace, read on. This article will present two topics to discuss with your contractor before you commit.
Calculating Heat Loss
It's important to be aware that not all furnaces are equally powerful. Rather, heating output is expressed in what are called British thermal units, aka BTUs. You will find the BTU rating of a your old furnace mounted on its front face. While this is important information to have, don't make the mistake of automatically selecting a new furnace with the same BTU.
Believe it or not, the BTU power of your current furnace may or may not be the best fit. In fact, for all you know, somebody might have made a mistake when selecting the size of that unit. Beyond that, though, it is common for the heating needs of a house to change over time. This may have to do with such factors as:
- the addition of extra rooms
- upgrades to the insulation around windows and doors
- the addition of supplementary heat sources, such as fireplaces and wood stoves
In order to determine your home's precise heating needs, be sure to insist that your HVAC contractor perform what is known as a heat loss calculation. By taking into consideration a multitude of factors not always obvious to an amateur, this process will figure out exactly what BTU rating your new furnace should have. Only then should you begin shopping for appropriate units.
Duct Work Modifications
Especially in older homes, it is common to experience the phenomenon of rooms that never seem to get warm. No matter how high you crank the heat, they're always drafty and cold. The reason this happens has to do with what is known as static pressure.
Think about it this way: over a particular time span, your furnace is only capable of generating a certain volume of hot air. As this air is pushed through your ducts, those rooms that are closer to the furnace will naturally receive a greater proportion of heat. Likewise, rooms that are furthest from the furnace tend to be harder to warm up.
This problem can be minimized through modifications to the duct work. Known as downsizing, these modifications involve narrowing the duct work that leads to faraway rooms. This helps to keep the air pressure strong, ensuring that the heated air makes it all the way.
For more information, contact Marino's Plumbing & Gas Fitting air conditioning or a similar company.