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How To Pick The Right Size Heater

February 28, 2023 | Blog

When cold temperatures roll in, the last thing anyone wants is to be stuck with a heater that doesn’t keep your house warm. Having an efficient heater is important to your comfort as well as your safety, especially when the temperature dips closer to freezing. In the event you need a heater replacement, KCA Services is here to help with your Boerne heater installation needs!

Why Heater Size Matters

The size of a heater is directly related to its output, meaning that a larger heater will produce more warmth than a smaller one in the same amount of time. The output of a heater is measured in British thermal units (BTUs), representing the energy needed to heat a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Smaller heaters have lower BTU ratings, while larger heaters are higher up on the scale.

If the heater in your home isn’t the right size, many different issues may arise:

  • Uneven heating in your home
  • Lower energy efficiency
  • Shorter system lifespan

Uneven Heating

As you can probably guess, a heater that’s too small won’t be very effective in heating your home. While it may seem as though a larger heater is better because it produces more warmth and could heat your home quicker, that’s not necessarily the case.

Oversized heaters have a more difficult time regulating temperature because they release a large burst of hot air over a shorter period of time. This will cause uneven heating in your home with some rooms feeling too hot while others are too cold.

Lower Efficiency

Having the wrong size heater will also impact your home’s energy efficiency and energy bill. An undersized heater will have to run constantly to maintain the set temperature, which will drive up the cost of your monthly energy bill. On the other hand, an oversized heater will constantly turn on and off again, wasting a significant amount of energy each time it restarts.

Reduced Lifespan

A shorter system lifespan can also be a costly result of incorrect heater size. Both the constant running of a smaller heater and the frequent cycling of a larger one puts excess strain on the system. This leads to premature wear and will require additional repairs that will burn a hole in your wallet.

Determining The Right Size Heater For Your Home

For maximum comfort in your home at minimum cost, knowing how to choose the right heater is crucial. When determining which heater size is right for your home, HVAC professionals must calculate the heating load of your home.

The heating load is the ideal amount of heating that your home needs to maintain the set temperature, and is determined by a few different factors:

  • Size of your home
  • Condition of your home
  • Climate zone you reside in

Size Of Your Home

The size of your home is the most commonly used indicator for the heater size you need. Home size is measured in square feet, which can be calculated by multiplying the length by the width to find the area of square and rectangular rooms. Then add the area of all the rooms together for total square footage.

Some houses have irregularly shaped rooms that require different calculations. For difficult-to-measure rooms, contact a heater specialist!

Climate Zone

Identifying the climate zone you reside in is helpful for narrowing down the ideal range of BTUs necessary for your next heater. In the United States, there are five different climate zones. Boerne and most of the state of Texas reside in Zone 1, which means there’s an ideal range of 30 to 35 BTUs per square foot.

Condition Of Your Home

Recognizing that all homes are different is also helpful when selecting a heater. Some houses are newer than others and have better insulation that’s much more effective in keeping warm air in and cold air out.

This is taken into account when calculating the necessary BTUs for a heater. If your house is well-insulated, you will need a heater towards the beginning of the calculated range. If your house is older or seems a bit drafty, a heater with a higher output would be a better option.

DIY Heating Load

The heater size calculator takes these three things into account to give an educated estimate for the heater best suited to your home. To do this, you must multiply the square footage of your home by the BTUs based on your climate zone.

A 1,700-square-foot home in Boerne would need a heater ranging from 51,000 to 59,500 BTUs. Assuming the home is well-insulated, staying closer to 51,000 would be a safe bet.

While these three factors are the main ones, there are many others that are helpful when finding the perfect fit for your home. Considering the number of windows, which direction your house faces and the number of floors are among many other things that HVAC professionals take into account. The most accurate way to find the best fit is by scheduling a consultation with a licensed professional.

Installing A New Heater With KCA

Even for the most well-informed person, selecting and installing a new heater is still a job that requires someone with the right training and skills. Trying to complete an installation on your own can be costly, or even dangerous if done incorrectly. Call the heating specialists at KCA Services to schedule a consultation and see what kinds of heating solutions are best for your home!

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