Q&A / 

January 9, 2015 AsktheBuilder Weekend Warrior

Friday Weekend Warrior AsktheBuilder Tips are supposed to be SHORT.

But not this week.

Bitter cold has invaded the USA the past few days.

Your home may be cold no matter how high you turn up your thermostat.

Here's why.

Furnaces and AC units are like shoes. They come in different sizes.

You need to match the size of the furnace or boiler to the BTU heat LOSS of your home. If you don't, one of two things happens.

If the furnace or boiler is too big, it SHORT CYCLES and the things inside your house never warm up. If it's too small, no matter how long it runs, it can't produce enough heat to warm up you or your home.

HVAC pros have to calculate the BTU Heat LOSS of your home using an average low temperature for the season in YOUR area when they are sizing your furnace or boiler.

Here in NH, that average seasonal low temperature might be 5 F. So if I want my boiler to maintain an indoor temperature of 70 F, then it's looking at a delta T of 65 degrees.

But when the outdoor temperature is at MINUS 10 F for a while, my boiler just can't get the house up to 70 F no matter how long it operates.

The delta T temperature difference between outdoor and indoor jumps to 80 degrees!

CLICK HERE to read more about BTU Heat Loss and Gain so you understand why your AC unit or furnace doesn't seem to work that well in periods of extreme heat or cold.

Here's a silly example.

Imagine the heat produced by a small birthday cake candle. There's enough heat or energy to burn your finger pretty good.

But there's not enough to energy to heat a room in your home. Can you imagine sitting in a COLD room with a single birthday candle in front of you rubbing your hands together over it?

However, that tiny flame might produce more than enough BTUs to heat a tiny scale-model house that might fit inside a two-liter Wild Cherry Pepsi bottle.

If you're COLD right now, check to ensure all windows and doors are locked, install clear shrink wrap over drafty windows, and WEAR MORE CLOTHES including long underwear, sweaters and a HAT inside your home.

I was wearing a knit hat last night and that alone kept me warmer in my own home!

Tim Carter


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