Do You Really Need a Bigger Furnace? Why Smaller May be Better

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A common myth when it comes to heating your home is that a bigger furnace will do a better job. But surprisingly that’s usually not so and in fact, a furnace that’s too big can actually be inefficient and might not keep your home as warm. In fact, furnaces use the most amount of energy when starting up and shutting down, like a car engine.

”The bigger type of furnace is similar to if you were to go to get in your car and go to a gas station 300 times a day and turn your car on and off every time during the day. Because that’s how fast a bigger furnace will heat your house up,” explained Dirk Lessner, with Harker Heating and Cooling in Madison. “It will increase the number of cycles that the furnace is turning on and off which will make it inefficient and wear it’s parts down faster.”

The real question is should you take your new furnace down a couple of sizes.

“Most HVAC companies will look at the square footage of your home and the infrastructure of duct work that’s there just to make sure the furnace that’s there or the new furnace going in meets those specifications.“

”They’re insulating the homes so now it means the home takes less energy to heat as it did the previous year with that information a lot of the manufacturers have figured out that now we can use smaller furnaces to heat the same amount of square feet in a home. Which is great. Less energy using a furnace that’s running an appropriate amount of time to heat the same amount of space is really great. As an example when we bought our home we insulated the attic and we actually went down a size in furnace and now we’re heating the same square feet with half the amount of gas.”  

Call a Harker Heating professional to assess your homes heating needs. For more energy saving tips visit

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