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5 Signs of an Oversized Furnace and What to Do About It

Signs of an Oversized Furnace

As the cold — or here in San Diego, cold-ish — season approaches, it’s important to make sure that your home’s furnace is optimized for running efficiently. Did you know that the size of your furnace actually plays a crucial role in whether it operates well? Read below to learn about the most common signs of an oversized furnace and how you can minimize negative effects.

Note: we’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth noting again that a proper furnace installation is crucial. This is not an area to DIY! Furnaces are among the most expensive items in your home and it can be costly to mitigate any issues arising from poor or improper installation.

If you’ve been living with an oversized furnace, you may have accepted your home’s heating and cooling quirks as just that. Over time, however, small issues may contribute to larger and more costly problems. To evaluate whether your home’s furnace is too large for the amount of square footage you have, take the following signs into consideration.

Uncomfortable Room Temperatures

Do you ever walk into a room and feel a burst of uncomfortably hot air? When you notice certain vents blasting heat when others are not, this could be a symptom of an oversized furnace. This problem occurs because the heat output is more than your home actually needs.

As a result of this problem, your home may never be able to stay at a consistent or comfortable temperature. The furnace’s uneven cycling can cause extreme heat in certain areas, while others stay uncomfortably chilly. Not only does this affect how your home feels, but it also has an impact on the ability of your thermostat to effectively control room temperature the way it should.

Short Run Cycles

Have you noticed that your furnace seems to turn on and off relatively quickly? If you’ve ever experienced 10-15 minute bursts of run time, this could indicate an oversized unit. Although it may seem normal, shortened cycles may mean that the furnace is not operating efficiently and is using more energy than it should be.

Expensive Operating Costs

Because a furnace uses most of its energy to start and heat up, the pattern of short cycles mentioned above means that the unit must use more energy at a greater frequency. As a result of this continual “startup mode,” your energy bills may be significantly higher than they would be if the unit ran consistently.

If you’re paying more to heat your home than what you would expect to pay based on square footage, it may be time to explore whether you have the right size furnace installed.

Excessive Noise

Have you noticed more noise than usual when your furnace cranks up? Although some clamor is to be expected as air flows through the vents, a lot of noise is cause for concern. If your furnace is circulating more air than your ducts are designed to handle, you can expect to hear more noise during operation; this can actually signal a need to have both your furnace and your air ducts inspected for proper size.

Shortened Equipment Lifespan

The issues mentioned above, such as shortened run times and greater energy use, inevitably take a toll on equipment. If your furnace is running too many shortened cycles because it is improperly sized, components like the igniter and gas control valve may give out sooner than they otherwise would. In the end, this results in more service calls and more part replacement. Your unit may even completely give out before it was designed to.

What Can Be Done?

To prevent having an oversized furnace in your home, it may be beneficial to explore the following factors to determine your home’s true heating load calculation:

  • Daytime heat increase throughout the house
  • The type and level of insulation
  • The number and quality of doors and windows
  • The number and size of various rooms
  • The number of people occupying the home

Contact Bob Jenson

If you suspect that your furnace is improperly sized based on your home’s square footage or heating load, contact the Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating team. A consultation can help answer questions you may have about your furnace’s size or efficiency, as well as provide an opportunity for routine furnace maintenance.

Brand Highlight: Williams

The History of Williams

Over the years, several innovative solutions have emerged in the world of heating and cooling, from devices like dehumidifiers that control air quality, to air curtains, furnaces, and more. Choosing the right product for your needs is essential to keeping yourself, your family, or your workforce happy.

Williams Comfort Products represents one of the most popular manufacturers of gas and electric furnaces, fan coils, air handlers, and more in the United States. A journey that began a century ago — with the production of gas steam radiators — under the name “Williams Radiator Co.” has evolved into an incredible, multi-faceted product line.

Today, customers and distributors appreciate Williams for its high devotion to quality, its versatility, and its dedication to efficiency.

The Williams brand has been making waves in the heating and cooling industry for a little over a century. The company was born in 1916, when its imaginative founder Jesse Williams built gas steam radiators to keep residents warm in San Diego.

These radiators represented a perfect opportunity for home comfort within the growing real estate market, as developers built homes in need of a single heat source without the awkwardness of ductwork. As the years passed, Williams developed new solutions for home comfort, including the gravity wall furnace. As the business moved to national heights, fan-type counterflow furnaces emerged.

Though the product line (and name) for Williams has changed since those initial days of gas steam radiators, their dedication to quality, safety, and efficiency has remained constant. Every product built by Williams is thoroughly tested, and built by U.S. technicians in Colton, California, for quick and reliable distribution.

Williams Products

While the initial product line for the Williams brand was small, it has expanded over the years to feature numerous solutions for heating and cooling. Today, Williams provides residential and commercial options for a range of purposes. Products include:

Air handlers and fan coils: Williams carries a variety of fan-coil options, from ceiling solutions to wall-mounted models — perfect for use in offices, homes, and businesses of all sizes and shapes. Solutions range from horizontal ceiling mounts, to vertical stacks, belt-driven air handlers, and more.

Heating solutions: Williams offers a selection of heating products for all sizes of homes, including direct-vent furnaces, forsaire counterflow furnaces, vented room console heaters, and even vent-free heaters.

Air curtains: An effective solution for removing airborne contaminants from buildings and keeping temperatures steady, air curtains allow for the free movement of people around a building — without losing conditioned air. In the winter, air curtains protect warm air, while cold air stays cold in the summer.

Dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers, such as the “air sponge” dehumidifier, work perfectly in existing ductwork and cooling systems, or function as stand-alone units. These solutions maintain consistent humidity levels within a home or property, fighting mold and managing air quality.

Why Choose Williams?

Distributors and consumers across the country consider Williams to be a reliable and high-quality solution to their heating and cooling needs. The company has been featured in a range of high-ranking and prestigious projects — and their solutions can be found in various landmarks such as Air Force One, the Smithsonian, and more.

Over the decades, the Williams brand has offered customers a fully-American product focused on performance and quality. What’s more, because Williams produces products in Colton, CA, they ship same or next day twelve months of the year.

Williams products often have an energy efficiency rating between 68-73. The important thing to remember is that because many products have no ductwork, there’s no opportunity for heat loss. Though Williams has already earned its place as a leading provider in the heating industry, it continues to innovate with new systems and solutions for comfort. In other words, it gives its customers the performance and dedication that they deserve.

If that wasn’t enough, even the employees of the Williams brand consider it to be an incredible place to work — the company ranks as one of the best places for satisfied employees in America. Since satisfied staff often leads to better overall productivity and efficiency, customers can rest assured they’re getting nothing less than the best with Williams.

How To: Furnace Filter Guide

The Importance of a Furnace Filter

A home’s furnace is one of its most under-appreciated necessities. During the colder months of the year, furnaces are given a workout and without proper maintenance, it can lead to costly repairs or even needing a replacement.

One of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to protect your furnace and keep it running smoothly is to replace the air filter consistently – and use the most energy-efficient type of air filter possible for your unit.

Properly maintaining furnace air filters, and changing them on a regular basis, has a host of positive purposes beyond simply protecting your furnace. When you have a clean air filter, more dirt, dust and debris can be captured from the air in your home, making it cleaner to breathe. This can even heighten the comfort of people who live in the home that suffer allergies or asthma. A clean air filter is also more efficient – helping your furnace to function at a higher level while using less energy. This conserves energy and saves you money.

How Often Should I Change My Furnace Air Filter?

Energystar.gov says that basic home HVAC air filters should be changed once every month to once every three months — based on the type of furnace you use, and how often it is running. In high-peak months, the filter should be replaced every month if you want to have the cleanest air, and highest efficiency. Newer high efficient MERV 16 Filter can go for up to a year before it needs to be replaced! It’s also important to have a furnace checked by a professional HVAC technician before the peak season starts to make sure it runs smoothly when you need it the most.

Where Do I Find My Furnace Air Filter?

The location of your furnace filter will vary based on your furnace model and how it was installed. The most common places to locate your filter include:

  • The blower compartment. This is likely where you are going to find your filter if you have an older model of furnace.
  • A ceiling or wall grille. Usually it is located near the room or closet that the furnace is inside, and can be unlatched to easily pop furnace filters in and out.
  • In a cabinet with a door, attached to the actual furnace. Based on the model, it can be located on top, bottom or on the side.

What Type of Furnace Air Filter Should I Buy?

Air filters for your furnace will vary based on the type of unit. Furnace filters come as washable versions and disposable ones. Filters are also rated based on their efficiency value, reported in MERV. The higher the number, the smaller the filter particles (and higher the efficiency). Generally speaking, 4-5″ thick disposable furnace filters are more efficient, carrying a MERV rating of 8 to 16! Feel free to check with your trusted HVAC maintenance contractor to determine which type of filter you need for your furnace and home.

How Do I Install My Furnace Air Filter?

Once you’ve replaced your furnace’s air filter once, you will find it pretty easy in the future. The main thing is to ensure that you purchase the correct filter (if you use disposable ones, which are recommended for energy saving purposes). Once you know you have the right one, switch your furnace unit to the off position. Open the slot, grille or compartment where the filter will be inserted, and remove the old one. Slide the new one into place and close the lid/grille/drawer.

Properly maintaining furnace air filters is something that all residents can do with ease. Ask the filtration experts at Bob Jenson A/C for which air filter you should be using, how often to replace it, and what other suggestions for keeping your furnace running efficiently all year round.

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