Load calculations are used by HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) professionals to determine what size heating/cooling unit will efficiently serve your home. If it’s too big, you’re wasting energy; if it’s too small, you’re uncomfortably hot or cold. So, your HVAC contractor crunches the numbers to calculate the right size heating and cooling equipment for your home or office. But how can you be sure the numbers are correct? One way is to learn about load calculations.
History of Load Calculations
Originally, you could simply take the square footage of a property and calculate the amount of heating and cooling needed. It was unreliable at best, and only documented by HVAC contractors to prove they had diligently strived to install the correct size HVAC unit; it would help them if there were a lawsuit because their clients’ employees froze to death at their desks. Now, there is software that can do all the work, accurately, but it’s expensive, and even the best HVAC professionals may not have it.
How Load Calculations Work
The law of thermodynamics shows when it’s cold outside, warm air tries to “escape” from inside. That’s heat loss. When you add heat emitted by large appliances, sunshine, body heat, then subtract it from the heat that is escaping, you must then add-in heat from another source. The added heat needed is called the “heat load.” When it’s hot outside, the same formula works to give you the “cooling load.” This mathematical process is a load calculation.
Factors Impacting Load Calculations
It would be easier to guesstimate using square footage, but it can be costly if your HVAC equipment is improperly sized. In addition to square footage, some of the factors that determine load calculations are:
- Comfort-level desired
- Exterior door types/locations
- Foundation type
- Roof type/color
- Where you live
You Can Be Sure with Bradbury Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning
We’ll not only do the math; we’ll help you make the right HVAC equipment choice because we appreciate your trust. Contact us for information about ways to save on your heating and cooling costs. We guarantee our work.