In your search for a new heating and cooling system for your Austin-area home you may have heard or come across the term ‘manual J,’ but what is it and why should you care? Essentially, this is a three dimensional computer program that is the only way to be certain your HVAC system is properly sized for your home.
A manual J calculation involves putting various information into the computer program such as the climate in your region, insulation efficiency, size of windows and their efficiency, which direction your home faces, ductwork efficiency and more in order to determine what type/size heating and air conditioning system is best for your needs.
Why is this important?
When an HVAC contractor doesn’t perform a manual J it is common to install a system that’s actually bigger than the homeowner needs. This not only compromises comfort, but costs more in terms of utility bills. It’s also important to note that your HVAC system will have a shorter lifespan because of the short cycling (constantly kicking on and off). Humidity is another issue we have to deal with in central Texas, and an oversized heat & air system won’t maintain proper humidity levels.
It may seem strange that you would save more money and extend the life of your system if it runs longer before shutting off, but this is because an HVAC system causes a spike in electrical usage upon startup. Each time the system comes on, there’s a large spike in electricity consumption. This is why it’s never a good idea to install a heating and cooling system that’s larger than you need.
It’s natural when you’re having an old system replaced to simply request the same size – but it isn’t smart. If you’re considering a new heating and cooling system for your home, be sure your contractor performs a manual J load calculation so that you can enjoy a system that lasts for years while keeping your family comfortable and costs down.
At Schneider Mechanical our Austin HVAC experts are dedicated to supreme comfort and energy efficiency. The right size equipment is important in order for your system to function efficiently for many years to come! Give us a call today for all of your comfort needs.