Finding the Right Furnace for Your Home This Winter

December 6, 2021
Furnace Size in Roseville, MI

With the winter months fast approaching, most homeowners are concerned about the condition of their furnace. If last winter you felt that your furnace was on the brink of failing, now may be an excellent time to consider replacing your furnace with a newer, more energy-efficient model.

However, there are several decisions you need to make before running out and buying a furnace. Like Goldilocks from the fairytale of the three bears, you don’t want to furnace that is too big or too small. You want one that is just right for your home. Here are some tips that can help you do that.

What Happens if My Furnace Is Too Small?

If your furnace is too small, it will not be able to keep your home warm as the temperatures drop outside. It will lack the power needed to make up the difference between the external temperature and your desired internal temperature.

It can be tempting to go for a smaller furnace because it has a lower up-front price tag. However, the only thing that can feel worse than having no furnace at all is spending good money on a furnace that is incapable of keeping your home warm.

When a furnace is too small, it will cycle on and off nonstop as it tries to increase your indoor temperature. Your furnace becomes like a person running on a treadmill. It is constantly going, but it never achieves its goal.

If your furnace is too small, you are going to experience excessively high energy bills. But you are not going to have the warmth or comfort that makes these expensive bills worthwhile.

What Happens if My Furnace Is Too Big?

If a furnace that is too small won’t heat your home sufficiently, you may think that if you get the biggest furnace out there, it will surely keep your home warm. The truth is an oversized furnace will not help you much either.

When a furnace is oversized for the house it is in, the furnace will work in quick bursts. It only turns on when the thermostat registers a low temperature. The result is that it will just make heat pockets.

An oversized unit is going to heat a smaller area fast. The thermometer will then register the heat increase, turning the unit off. The problem is that the heat will not have time to permeate throughout the home. you are going to have uneven heating.

The furnace ends up turning off and on more times than you want it to. Oversized furnaces are inefficient. They lead to higher energy bills. For most homes, bigger units do not equate to better heating.

Finding a Furnace That Heats Your Home Just Right

The right-sized furnace for your home will heat each room gradually and provide an even distribution of heat. The heating is done in an energy-efficient way that will keep your home warm for a longer period of time. When determining the right furnace size, there are a few factors to consider.

First, think about the rooms that must be heated. You will need to determine if basement ductwork can reach all these rooms or if they will need to be heated by the heat circulating in the rest of the home.

Once you have calculated the dimensions of your rooms, work with heating professionals to come up with the right-sized furnace. At C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, we have years of experience helping homeowners find the right furnace for their home’s size and their budget. We would be happy to discuss furnace options with you.

Next, think about the climate in your area. You will need a different furnace in Florida compared to what you will need in Minnesota. Since Minnesota can reach temperatures lower than 50 degrees below zero Fahrenheit during the winter, homes in that state will need a furnace with a higher BTU rating. Just because you have a furnace that should work in a house of a particular size, if you don’t get a sufficiently large unit, you will feel cold on freezing nights.

Assessing Your Home’s Furnace Needs

Some homeowners can look at the square footage in their home’s appraisal rating, lease, or listing. If you don’t know your home’s square footage, take out a tape measure. Measure each room’s length and width. You don’t need to measure rooms that don’t have a duct, such as your garage. You don’t want to overinflate your measurement.

Multiply the length and width of each room to get the room’s square footage. For example, a room that is 24 feet by 15 feet is 360 square feet. Do this process for each room. Add all the numbers up to get the total square footage of your home.

Next, you have to do more math. Take the total square footage of your home and multiply it by the BTUs required by your climate. For example, if you lived in Minnesota, an area classified as “alpine and humid continental,” you would want between 50 and 60 BTUs per square foot. Conversely, if you live in Florida, which is an area classified as “savanna, subtropical, or desert-like,” you will want between 30 and 35 BTUs per square foot.

With that calculation, a home in Florida with 2,000 square feet will need a unit with between 60,000 and 70,000 BTU output. However, it doesn’t stop there. For example, if you purchase a furnace with a 70,000 BTU output but only an 80% efficiency rating, it will only put out 56,000 BTUs. You want something that has an output of between 90,000 and 100,000 BTUs if it has an 80 percent efficiency rating.

Other Factors to Consider

Another factor to consider is the number of windows in your home. Rooms with many windows lose more heat, so you might need a furnace with a higher efficiency rating. On the flip side, having many windows means that a lot of sunlight could enter your home, which lowers the amount of heat you need your furnace to make.

Also, think about the number of people in your home. The more people in your home, the more heat that is produced. A crowded house may require fewer BTUs.

Consider the number of floors in your home. Each floor that you have adds a layer of insulation. This means that the entire property may need less heat.

Consider the age of the home. Newer homes are better insulated. Older homes often require maintenance and have been designed in a way that allows heat to escape from cracks that you may not even know the building has.

The Wrap Up

C & C Heating & Air Conditioning is proud to be serving our community by offering top-rated AC and heating services. Whether you need emergency repairs, indoor air quality tests, maintenance plans, gas furnaces, duct cleanings, or mini-splits, we can help.

Our team is experienced at inspecting and assessing your indoor air system. We will give you an accurate report and provide you with recommendations that can help you improve the comfort of your home. We offer 24/7 emergency repairs. For added convenience, we are happy to provide extended financing options to qualified customers.

Don’t let the cold winter months catch you off guard. Contact us today. We will help you find a furnace that is right for your home.

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