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3 Good Reasons Why Buying an Oversized Furnace Can Be a Bad Thing

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Just as too much cake can be bad for your health and your figure, too much heating capacity can be bad for your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners purchase oversized furnaces under the belief that the bigger the unit, the better the heating capability. However, there are 3 good reasons why you should consider the right size for your potential furnace purchase.

An Oversized Furnace Can Experience Short Cycling Problems

A properly-sized furnace is designed to gradually bring temperatures in your home to your desired levels. An oversized furnace can get the job done faster, but at the expense of its own reliability and longevity. By raising temperatures in a very short amount of time, the furnace not only experiences more wear and tear in the process, but it also shuts down in just a short amount of time to keep the unit from overheating itself.

Without a gradual increase in temperatures, the unit detects constant temperature swings that cause it to start up and shut down within minutes just to keep up with demand. This problem, known as "short cycling", can cause added stress and wear to an oversized furnace. The blower fan motor, burners, heat exchanger and other various components can suffer from unchecked short cycling issues, causing your new furnace to wear out much sooner than you'd expect.

Oversized Furnaces Can Rob Your Home of Comfort

Remember those temperature swings mentioned in the previous section? A properly sized furnace can deal with those fluctuations by gradually adding heated air to indoor spaces in need, keeping those temperature variations within just a few degrees of the highest and lowest temperature in the room.

On the other hand, an oversized furnace overcompensates by heating those spaces rapidly, leaving behind a wide temperature gulf that leaves rooms feeling too chilly or too hot. These vast temperature swings can easily turn your home into an uncomfortable place to be in.

An Oversized Furnace Can Cost You Money in the Long Run

If you think you're saving money by buying more furnace than your home really needs, then think again. Operating an oversized furnace could cost you more money than you'd realize:

  • Thanks to the short cycling issues commonly experienced by oversized furnaces, they don't operate long enough to reach an efficient operation state that allows them to thoroughly burn fuel. The end result of these short, inefficient burns is wasted fuel, higher fuel consumption and higher monthly heating costs.
  • Oversized furnaces also tend to have a shorter lifespan than furnaces that are properly matched to your home's heating needs. According to Angie's List, it could cost as much as $14,000 to purchase and install a natural gas-powered furnace, so imagine spending that much money several years short of your furnace's expected 15 to 20-year lifespan. Those costs eventually add up, over time.
  • Oversized furnaces also require more frequent maintenance than properly sized furnaces, largely due to their unsustainable characteristics. That means you'll end up spending more on repairs and service, whereas a properly sized furnace usually requires less maintenance and costs less to maintain throughout its lifespan.

If you're really worried about not having enough heating capacity for your home, then you may need to have your home undergo an energy audit. During a home energy audit, a seasoned home energy professional can help you pinpoint areas where heat loss occurs most, giving you an opportunity to make changes that improve your home's energy efficiency.  It's usually a better option than installing the largest furnace you can find, plus it could help you save as much as 30 percent on your energy costs.

Afterwards, you can have your HVAC professional conduct a Manual J load calculation and Manual S equipment selection to pick the best furnace for your home's heating needs. Using a properly designed heating system can help save you money, as well as unnecessary headaches. For more assistance, contact companies like Quality HomEnergy.