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What Size Heat Pump Do I Need?


There are several important steps in the process of selecting the right heat pump for your home. You need to determine the best type of heat pump for your home and climate (air source, water source or ground source), decide on your desired efficiency rating, and select the installation method and features of your new heat pump. Finally, you need to size your heat pump properly to make sure that you are heating your home effectively and efficiently.

Correctly sizing your heat pump is very important, and fortunately there is a standard sizing method used nationwide. This method, created by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, is known as the Manual J method for sizing heat pumps. The Manual J method considers eight variables to help you size your heat pump with confidence.

  • The Manual J Method of Sizing
  • The Manual J method considers the following factors to determine the right heat pump size:
  • The regional climate, and the probable number of heating and cooling days during which the heat pump will be used.
  • The shape and square footage of the home, as well as any other home design features that might affect how long it takes to heat and cool the space.
  • The quantity and quality of the home’s insulation.
  • The number of people who reside in the home.
  • The number of windows in the home, and where they are located.
  • The amount of air ventilation that happens in the home.
  • Light fixtures or other home appliances that regularly generate heat.
  • The temperature preferences of the residents.

The Right Size Saves Money

Getting the right size heat pump really does make a significant difference to the efficacy, reliability and efficiency of your HVAC system. Heat pumps that are too small or too large for a home can have a number of negative consequences, including higher energy costs, drastic temperature differences inside, poor humidity control and frequent on-and-off cycling that strains the system.

Consulting an experienced and reliable contractor is always a smart move before finalizing your heat pump selection. Contractors can make sure that you have correctly assessed each of the Manual J factors to determine your heat pump size. They may also be able to recommend some relatively straightforward changes to your home, such as upgrading or increasing your insulation, to allow you to downsize your heat pump and save money.

Thank you for reading, and follow our blog for more on the world of heating and air conditioning.


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