If you’re in the market for a new boiler and are trying to determine the size you need for your home, you’ve likely been told to base the size of boiler you need on:
- The size of your existing boiler or
- The square footage of your home
Here’s what we can tell you: if you purchase a new boiler based on either of the above, you could end up with a boiler that’s too large or too small for your home.
Want to know the right way to determine boiler size? Below, we’ll walk through:
- How boilers are sized
- The RIGHT way to determine boiler size
- Importance of installing the right-size boiler
Rather have a professional’s recommendation? We’d be happy to provide you with a free boiler installation estimate.
How is boiler size measured?
Boilers are measured in BTUs (British thermal units).
To give you some context, one BTU is equivalent to the amount of energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
Clear as mud? We thought so.
Essentially, the higher the BTU “output” of a boiler, the more heat it can produce in a given time and the more expensive it will be.
So when we talk about the “size” of boiler you need for your home, what we’re really referring to is the BTU output you need to properly heat your home.
Let’s look at how a professional determines the BTU output you need.
What size boiler do I need for my home?
Let’s start off with the most important fact about boiler size: you don’t get to choose what size boiler is right for your home.
This is because the right-size boiler for your home will depend on a variety of factors.
The only way to accurately determine what size boiler is best for your home is to have a professional assess these factors during something called a heat loss calculation.
Essentially, a heat loss calculation takes into account how much heat your home is losing in an hour’s time. A professional will use this heat loss calculation to determine the size boiler needed to keep your home warm.
When conducting a heat loss calculation, a technician will assess:
- Number of radiators
- Number of windows
- Size of your home
- Quantity and quality of insulation
- And much more…
It’s important that you hire a technician who will perform a heat loss calculation and assess your home and heating needs. Without this, you’ll likely end up with a boiler that is too big or too small for your home, costing you money in the long run. Let’s look at why, below.
How important is installing the right-sized boiler?
Sometimes we get homeowners who ask for a slightly larger boiler size because they think it will provide more comfort in the winter. Other times, we get homeowners who ask for a smaller boiler size than we suggest to help save money.
We understand the frustration of not having a say on the size boiler you need for your home. But trust us when we say that it’s extremely important that you purchase the right-size boiler, because...
Boilers that are oversized will short-cycle (turn on and off frequently), reducing the lifespan of your boiler, increasing your heating bills and leaving hot and cold spots throughout your home.
Boilers that are undersized will struggle to heat your home properly. This can also result in a reduced lifespan, increased heating bills and hot and cold spots throughout your home.
Purchasing the right-size boiler for your home is must if you want a system that lasts and energy bills that aren’t more than they should be.
Ready to install a boiler in your Pittsburgh home? Hire Calfo
Whether you’re ready to install a boiler in your home or you want more information, we’re happy to help.
All of our techs have at least 10,000 hours of on-the-job training, so you can rest assured that any recommendations we make or installations we complete will be correct.