The Myth of the “Bigger” Heating System

When it comes to providing comfortable levels of heat for a house during winter, homeowners often gravitate to the idea that the larger a heating system they have, the better comfort they’ll receive. This is an understandable mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.

For home heating, it’s important to find the right sized heater, rather than the biggest one. A heating system that’s oversized will create as many problems as one that is undersized. We’ll go into a bit more detail about why the “bigger is better” concept for heating is a myth.

The problem of the oversized heater

The philosophy behind putting in the most powerful heater possible in a house is that the home will always have as much heat as it may need, and the heat can always be lowered if it gets too warm. But this isn’t how residential heating systems actually work. A heater like a furnace is either on or it’s off. There is no way to “throttle” it back.

When a heater is too large for the space it’s supposed to heat, something called short-cycling starts to occur. The heater will raise the temperature in the home so rapidly that the thermostat will sense that the heating system has completed its job before it’s actually had time to distribute the heated air evenly. The thermostat will then shut off the heater. A short time later, the thermostat will sense the temperature drop and activate the heater once more. The process will repeat over and over again, with the heater turning off before completing the full heating cycle.

Short-cycling means poor comfort, and in the long term it will have a devastating effect on the heater. It places immense stress on the components, which both raises energy bills and causes unnecessary repairs. A short-cycling heater will have a brief service life and soon need to be replaced.

Make sure you avoid the error of the oversized heater and only call on HVAC professionals to properly size a new heating system. Contact Comfort Central, Inc. the next time you need heater installation in Arden, NC.

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