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Furnace Installation Involves Furnace Sizing: Here’s What That Means


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Furnace installation is an important part of our job. We understand that households here in Wake County need heating systems that keep them warm without causing a large energy drain that creates really scary heating bills. (If you’re afraid to look at your heating bill each month, then you really need to talk to us!)

An essential part of making sure that any home has the right furnace for its needs is properly sizing it. This isn’t choosing a furnace that’s the correct size to fit in the available space—although obviously we won’t choose an overlarge furnace! What it really means is finding a furnace that puts out the right amount of heat to match a home’s comfort needs.

How Furnace Sizing Is Done

First of all, call for professionals to do a heat load calculation. Although you can find instructions online on how to do a heat load calculation on your own, you shouldn’t attempt it. This isn’t a task that you can “fudge”; there are serious consequences to getting this wrong! You want top people to handle the steps in a heat load calculation.

A proper heat load calculation consists of collecting data about the house in order to find out how much heat in BTUs a furnace must generate to keep the space comfortable. This data includes:

  • The volume of space in the house
  • Insulation levels
  • Number of windows and the directions they face
  • Average number of people in the house
  • Heat given off from appliances
  • Heat given off from lights

After the heat load calculation is done, the professionals will know how powerful a furnace is necessary to provide the right balance of heat and energy savings.

Why an Undersized Furnace Is a Problem

A furnace that doesn’t have sufficient heating power will need to run almost continuously to attempt to reach a comfortable temperature—and it probably won’t reach the target as heat continues to escape from the house. An undersized furnace means a cold house and huge energy bills.

Why an Oversized Furnace Is a Problem

The problems of an undersized furnace are straightforward, but people are often confused to learn that a furnace can be oversized. Isn’t it safer to be on the side of a furnace that’s too powerful? After all, you can just turn it down.

However, an oversized furnace is a problem because it will short-cycle. This means the furnace raises the indoor temperature so rapidly that the thermostat will erroneously register that its job is done. The furnace will then cycles off before it can complete the full heating cycle—only to turn back on again a short time later and repeat the process over and over. When the furnace is locked in the start-up cycle this way, it creates a tremendous power drain that raises bills and creates stress that shortens equipment life. The heating in the home will be uneven as well, since the furnace won’t stay on long enough to spread heat to all the rooms.

If you’re looking for new furnace installation in Wake Forest, NC, we’re definitely the people you should contact. We offer the top brands, including American Standard, Amana, York, and Carrier.

Raleigh Heating & Air, Inc. has served Wake County and the surrounding areas for over 20 years. We have the best people in the industry and every coworker is inspired to elevate your experience.

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