In the chill of a San Antonio, Texas winter, nothing beats a heating system that envelops your family in warmth and comfort. The trick is to choose one that meets your needs to perfection. When it comes to sizing your furnace, the Goldilocks principle applies. An oversized system is just as problematic as one that’s too small. Here’s what you need to know to ensure that your new heater is sized “just right.”

Why Size Matters

The desire for whole-comfort home leads many homeowners to purchase a system that’s simply too big. The trouble with oversized heaters is that they’re prone to short cycling. The system turns on, quickly warms the surrounding air and cycles off again before your entire home is heated. This frequent on/off cycling wears down the equipment, impacts your comfort and sends energy bills soaring.

How Are Furnaces Sized?

The physical size of a fuel-burning heating system has little to do with its cost, efficiency or heating capacity. It’s the amount of energy it consumes and the heat it generates that counts. A qualified HVAC technician evaluates multiple factors to determine the proper sizing:

  • Heating Load. Your home’s heating needs are influenced by everything from its square footage to the number of occupants. Load calculations help determine how much heat is required to keep you comfortable.
  • BTU Input. For fuel-fired heaters, energy consumption is measured in British thermal units or BTUs. BTU input reflects the amount of fuel energy the heater uses whenever it’s running.
  • AFUE Rating. The AFUE energy efficiency rating represents the percentage of fuel energy the equipment successfully converts into heat. High-efficiency gas furnaces have AFUE ratings between 80 and 98 percent.
  • BTU Output. Multiplying the AFUE rating by the BTU input allows you to calculate the system’s overall heating capacity. The BTU output is the term that best describes the system’s size.

At Woods Comfort Systems, our HVAC experts are specially trained in heating system installations. More than 60 years serving the communities of Central Texas gives us a wealth of experience to draw on too. To learn more, explore our heating solutions or give us a call at 512-842-5066.

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