A household’s heating and cooling “load” is another way of saying how much heating and cooling the home actually uses. That’s useful information, because it’s directly related to your energy consumption — and your utility bills.
So how do you determine your heating and cooling load, and how can you use your findings to help you? When calculating your HVAC load, it’s helpful to know several things:
- Total square footage of the home’s living areas, including individual room sizes.
- Attic and basement sizes, including insulation.
- How many rooms are occupied regularly, and at what times of the day.
- Lighting and appliances used throughout the home (some lights and appliances add heat to rooms).
- Surface areas of windows and skylights.
- Your local climate data.
There are computer programs available that help you use this information to calculate the heating and cooling load in your home. You also can engage a trained HVAC professional to calculate your home’s heating and cooling load — a smart idea especially when it’s time to replace your HVAC system. But you don’t need the exact calculation to get to work on reducing your home’s load. A few tips:
- Close off areas of your home that aren’t regularly occupied, and don’t need as much temperature control.
- Weatherize and insulate so you don’t lose warm or cold air to the outside.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs, which give out much less heat than incandescent.
- Install window treatments that reflect sunlight in the summer and retain heat in the winter.
The heating and cooling professionals at Conditioned Air have been serving Southwest Florida residents since 1962. Please contact us anytime if you’d like help calculating your heating and cooling needs — or with any other questions. We’re happy to do our part in helping our neighbors reduce their energy costs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your home’s heating and cooling load and other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.