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Hagerstown Heating & Cooling Blog

How to Avoid the “Oversizing” Furnace Scam

Here at Hagerstown, we like to take the time to educate our customers about potential untrustworthy HVAC contractors and common scams. An easy way to make more money off a furnace installation is to sell a customer an oversized furnace or “more furnace than you need.”

You might be thinking, “That doesn’t sound so bad. Isn’t bigger usually better?” But actually, an oversized furnace will cause a host of problems—not to mention you’ll spending more money on a system that won’t last as long as one that’s properly sized!

Let’s go over what should happen when a furnace is being sized for your home. We’ll also discuss all the ways an oversized furnace is bad news.

Why Would a Shady Contractor Oversize a Furnace?

Well, simply to make more money. The bigger the furnace, the more expensive it’ll cost. A 3,000 square-foot house will need “more” furnace than a 1,200 square-foot condo. Where it gets tricky is when your home’s square footage hovers right between two sizing ranges. 

It’s also possible that a contractor doesn’t know what they’re doing and not taking into account the other important factors that influence what size furnace you need. These factors include your home’s age, the amount of insulation it has, the local climate, the quality and amount of windows, and the efficiency rating of the furnace. 

As you can tell by now, sizing a furnace is a complicated process and one that should only be handled by an experienced HVAC contractor. Let’s go over some of the downsides of a too-large furnace.

1. Wasted Energy: An oversized furnace is one that’s prone to short cycling. This happens because after the furnace delivers heat to the home and has raised the temperature, the thermostat signals the furnace to turn off again. Furnaces use the most energy when they’re starting up, so by starting multiple cycles, the furnace consumes more energy this way than if it were to turn on and run for a long stretch of time. 

2. A Shortened Furnace Lifespan: All that unnecessary wear and tear results in a shorter lifespan for your furnace. So not only did you pay more than you needed to for its upfront cost, but you’re also looking at an early replacement unit. No one should have to replace their furnace early.

3. Unreliable Heating: Your home comfort will suffer due to unreliable heating and rooms that don’t get warm enough. An oversize furnace overheats some rooms and underheats others. It won’t have enough time to heat the home evenly before the thermostat registers that the desired temperature has been reached and turns itself off. This is likely when the thermostat is located in an area that gets warmer faster than other rooms.

4. A Noisy Furnace: Furnaces aren’t exceptions to the rule that a larger machine will make more noise than a smaller one. This is compounded by the fact that an oversized furnace will potentially be paired with undersized ductwork for the furnace size. This will result in increases in velocity and turbulence, creating more noise and disrupting the quiet sanctuary your home should be.

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

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