A term that’s used a lot in the HVAC industry is “heating load,” which is a calculation of how much heat is required to keep your home at a certain level of warmth. A “cooling load” is the same thing calculated for air conditioning. Any proper sizing of a central HVAC system requires a heating (or cooling) load calculation to ensure that the installed system is the right size for your home, and avoid the problems that will result from an over-sized or under-sized heating or cooling system.
However, it’s important to realize that the home heating load isn’t a fixed number or level. The load can be reduced by taking a variety of steps. Not only will lowering the home heating load allow you to purchase a smaller and less-expensive furnace or heat pump, it will reap long-term energy savings even if you’re not in the market for a new system.
Take the following steps to lower your home heating load:
- Seal air leaks in the home’s outer envelope. When air is leaking into, or out of, your home, the heating or cooling system has to work all the harder to compensate for that lost air. Depending on the type and size of air leak, you can seal it with weatherstripping, caulk or spray foam.
- Similarly, inadequate or missing insulation will make your heating or cooling system work harder to make your home comfortable. While you can upgrade insulation and seal air leaks yourself, consider commissioning a professional energy audit to determine where air is leaking and insulation missing.
- Leaking, dirty or defective ductwork can make your heating and coaling loads higher than necessary. As much as possible, air should have an unimpeded route to the rooms in your home and then back to the central HVAC equipment. A comprehensive energy audit should include a duct inspection.
Fortunately, almost any step taken to reduce the home heating load also will lower the cooling load, resulting in energy savings and other benefits.
To discuss lowering your Indianapolis area home’s heating load, please contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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