Before You Buy A New HVAC System, Do A Load Calculation First

If you’re in the market for new heating or cooling equipment, it’s essential that you start with a load calculation. Your HVAC system is going to be with you for the next decade or longer, so it pays to make sure you invest in the right equipment for your needs.

Numerous benefits are provided by a proper load calculation, whether for heating or cooling your Kansas City-area home:

  • Know your home’s efficiency. HVAC professional start by testing the amount of air it takes to heat or cool each room. They then take into account your home’s size, shape, orientation and the local climate, and then compare your heating and cooling needs to baseline values. This way you know how your home compares to similar homes.
  • Make needed improvements before sizing your system. Once you understand your needs, you have the option to improve insulation, upgrade your windows, seal your ducts or make any other improvements that will lower your heating (or cooling) load.
  • Save on the initial price of the equipment. Smaller HVAC systems are typically cheaper to run than larger systems, and there’s no reason to purchase heating or cooling equipment that’s larger than what you need. Load calculations are useful because they allow you to purchase a model that will do the job efficiently.
  • Lower your energy bills. Oversized units cycle on and off too frequently and under-sized units run constantly. When you have the right system, it will consume much less energy and keep your home more comfortable.

HVAC professionals follow a specific protocol called Manual J to ensure your load calculations are done correctly. Each home is different, but a typical home will require these measurements:

  • Local climate – Use a contractor who has been in the Kansas City area for many years because they know the climate well.
  • Air infiltration – Technicians may check for drafts or use a blower door test to see how much air leaks into your home from outside, especially at windows, doors, vents and plumbing openings. Thermographic scanning can spot places where insulation is lacking.
  • Conductive losses through floors, walls, ceilings and roof – These calculations are based on the Manual J values for materials used to build your home.

If you need a professional load calculation, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve been providing expert HVAC service to greater Kansas City since 1983.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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