What Factors Go Into A Heat Load Calculation

10 December 2020
 Categories: , Blog


One important part of getting a new furnace is calculating the proper heat load for your home. This is one situation where sizing your appliance properly is important because bigger is not always better. Get a furnace that is too big, and you'll end up wasting energy to heat your home. Get a furnace that is too small, and it won't be powerful enough to get the job done. Here are the factors that go into calculating the heat load for a new furnace. 

The Climate

A huge factor that determines the heat load is the climate where you live. Living in a place with very cold winters is going to change your heating needs when compared to an identical home in a place with mild winters. The climate may even determine if you can get a heat pump powered heating system since they require warmer outdoor temperatures to work effectively. 

The Home's Construction And Layout

There are many factors about the construction of your home that need to be answered to determine the heat load. This includes how many floors you have, how many floors are below ground, the exterior construction materials, ceiling heights, and the overall square footage. The roofing material of your home also plays a big part, since that is going to determine how much energy your home absorbs or reflects due to the material that is being used. Thankfully, a lot of assumptions can be made when determining your home's construction and layout to get these numbers if you do not know them off hand.

The Ductwork System

The amount of ductwork that you have and its placement can play a role in the heat load calculations. More ductwork means that the air needs to travel farther to reach its destination, which can increase the heat load necessary to keep your home warm. The ductwork's location is also a big factor as well, since having ductwork in an unheated area of your home can have an impact on the temperature of the air inside the ductwork. 

The Insulation

You likely are not aware of how much insulation is currently in your home and how that affects the heating system. Infrared cameras can actually be used to determine how much insulation you have, which impacts your home's overall energy efficiency. 

Thankfully, calculating your furnace's heat load is not a job that you have to do on your own. Hire an HVAC contractor to help determine the heat load for you.