If you’ve ever upgraded your home’s furnace, you know that you had to go through a sizing phase to choose the right model. Getting the right fit is important. Obviously, an undersized furnace might not produce enough heat to keep you warm through the New England winter. But what about an oversized furnace? What’s the drawback there? To understand, you need to know a little bit about furnace operation.
How Furnaces Work
Unless they’re two-stage models, furnaces don’t scale heat production up and down. They’re either fully on or completely off. And unless they have a variable speed fan, which isn’t standard in most furnace models, they don’t have any way to change how much heat they deliver to your living spaces. When the temperature indoors drops below a certain threshold, they’ll turn on, send hot air into the room until the temperature raises, and then turn off again.
What an Oversized Furnace Will Do
An oversized furnace will produce a lot of heat – more than your home needs. When it turns on, it will deliver a blast of hot air that may produce a drastic, noticeable temperature swing instead of a gradual warming. And then it will turn off quickly, because remaining on would overheat the home instead of maintaining it at a comfortable temperature. This means a lot of furnace noise, dramatic temperature changes, and frequent on and off cycling, all of which put wear and tear on the furnace itself.
It’s worth noting that changes in your home’s whole-house HVAC setup can change the size needed to keep your home comfortable. Improved insulation and home sealing might mean that a smaller furnace could be warranted, and an aging furnace may begin having problems keeping up with your heating demand. Keep up with annual system maintenance and speak to your local HVAC expert if you have any concerns about your furnace’s performance.
To learn more about proper furnace sizing and what to do if you have an oversized furnace, call us today at Victory • Heating • Air Conditioning • Plumbing!
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