What’s a Load Calculation? Here’s the Answer

What's a Load Calculation? Here's the AnswerA load calculation puts accurate numbers to your home’s heating and cooling requirements. Every house is different in terms of it’s “load” — the amount of system capacity required to keep it warm in winter or cool in summer. An accurate determination can’t be made simply by “guesstimates” or applying results derived from a similar house down the street. A scientific load calculation by a qualified HVAC technician removes the ballpark figures and replaces them with a more exact result expressed in BTUs and individualized to your specific home.

Why Load Matters

A furnace or air conditioner needs to be accurately sized to the home’s heating or cooling load. Sizing means matching the fixed BTU capacity of the unit to the home’s specific load requirements in order to maintain a comfortable temperature. An oversized furnace or A/C results in very inefficient performance that causes heating or cooling costs to soar. An undersized unit, conversely, doesn’t provide sufficient BTU capacity to keep the house comfortably warm or cool.

How Load is Determined

A professional load calculation involves a careful survey of factors in your house that relate to heat loss or heat gain. A technician will conduct a room-by-room inspection and enter data into a program called Manual J, the industry standard software published by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. Among the many factors entered into Manual J are:

  • Details of the local climate.
  • Orientation of the house to sun exposure.
  • Level and quality of insulation.
  • Amount of air leakage.
  • Orientation and size of windows.
  • Count of light fixtures and large appliances,
  • Number and age of occupants.

The Result

Manual J crunches all this data and generates an exact figure expressed in BTUs to represent your home’s heating or cooling load. The load calculation can then be utilized to select the furnace or air conditioner with the precise BTU capacity to deliver optimum comfort and energy efficiency — no more, no less.

Setting the standard for heating and cooling excellence since 1922, contact the professionals at Paitson Bros. for an accurate load calculation on your home before you upgrade your furnace or A/C.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about load calculations and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “clker-free-vector-images/Pixabay”

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    By Jeff Paitson
  • About Jeff

    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

    Jeff is a Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce member and in his spare time, he enjoys photography.
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  • About Ethan


    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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