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Hagerstown Heating & Cooling Blog

Don’t Get Scammed Into an Oversized Heat Pump

Hvac Tech Showing Customers His Clipboard

As more and more homeowners switch from central furnaces and air conditioners to heat pumps, we’d like to remind our customers about the dangers of an oversized heat pump. Just like any HVAC system, professional and proper sizing is required to ensure your heat pump runs efficiently and effectively so it can adequately heat and cool your home.

Although heat pumps have been around for decades, they’ve surged in popularity fairly recently. As such, a lot of amateurs don’t have the skills that are needed to properly size a heat pump—especially when switching from a furnace/AC system to a heat pump. 

Because these systems provide both heating and cooling, there’s more to consider compared to the sizing of separate systems. Let’s go over why heat pumps need to be so accurately sized and the cons of an oversized heat pump.

What Is Involved With Sizing a Heat Pump?

The first step is to complete a load calculation which accurately calculates the heating and cooling loads of your home.  Essentially, a load calculation is a method of determining your home’s heat gain and loss so that the heat pump is properly sized. We will assess factors such as the square footage of your home, its layout, how well it’s insulated, and various other factors.

The next step is to determine the appropriate capacity of the heat pump. This capacity should be sufficient to meet the peak heating and cooling demands of your home. We’ll consult with you about the efficiency ratings of your heat pump which are measured in HSPF2 for heating and SEER2 for cooling. We’ll make recommendations on whether you want to include features such as a cold-climate model or inverter technology.

What Happens When a Heat Pump Isn’t Properly Sized?

Not only will your comfort levels suffer, but you’ll also pay more for utilities and need an early system replacement. Here are some major drawbacks of having an improperly sized heat pump.

Lack of Efficiency

An oversized heat pump is like a car that’s vastly exceeding the speed limit and can’t slow down. A properly and professionally sized heat pump operates at maximum efficiency, ensuring that it can effectively heat or cool your home without wasting energy or efficiency. Oversized units are prone to short cycling.

Decreased Home Comfort

An accurately sized heat pump maintains consistent temperatures throughout your home, boosting your home comfort levels. An undersized heat pump will struggle to reach your desired temperature, leading to discomfort among your household members.

Shortened System Lifespan

Your heat pump was a substantial investment. The last thing you want is 6–8 years down the line, you discover that your heat pump will not last for its estimated 10–15 year lifespan. An oversized heat pump places undue stress on the system, shortening its lifespan due to increased wear and tear and frequent cycling.

Higher Humidity

An oversized heat pump that runs for short periods of time isn’t running long enough to properly remove humidity. That results in less humidity being removed from the home which will make you feel hotter than you actually are. While you could run the heat pump in dehumidification mode to remove the excess, this is a lot less efficient.

At Hagerstown Heating & Cooling, we want to protect customers from Google and other contractors in Hagerstown, MD. Honesty at Its Best. 

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