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Choosing a Heat Strip Size That Can Keep Your Home Warm: The Factors to Consider

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When you are buying a new furnace or air handler, you may be asked to choose a heat strip size. Depending on the product, heat strip sizes can range from 5 kW to as high as 20 kW. Ultimately, the choice you make can mean the difference between enjoying warm, cozy winter nights at home with your family and shivering through endless evenings of uncomfortable cold, wrapped in blankets and layered clothes.

Of course, the size of your home is the most important factor, because it determines the volume of space that needs to be heated. However, there are several additional factors you need to consider when choosing the appropriate heat strip size for the furnace in your home. These factors can vary between homes, and they can make a big difference when it comes to making the appropriate decision for a heat strip size. Consider the following:

 

  • The climate in which you live. If your house is located in the Midwest or Northeast,where the temperature regularly drops below freezing in the winter, it is likely that you will need to choose a heat strip size that is larger than the size required for someone living in the Southeast in the same size house. Watching temperatures hit record lows this year, homeowners in the Midwest and Northeast don’t want to take the risk of choosing heat strips that are too small.
  • The insulation in the home. If your home is well-insulated, you may be able to get away with heat strips of a smaller size. However, if your house is poorly insulated, you may need to choose heat strips of a larger size, even if you live in a climate that is generally warm.
  • The size and location of the windows. Depending on size and location, windows can either increase or decrease the heat load of the home. Uninsulated windows can transfer cold air into the home, and if they are drafty, things can get even worse. At the same time, strategically positioned windows can also let in sunlight and decrease the heating needs of your house.

When you choose heat strips that are above the standard size for your furnace or air handler, you typically have to pay a slightly higher price, but choosing the right size is typically well-worth it for homeowners. For instance, going from 5 kW heat strips to 10 kW heat strips for an upflow air handler can cost as little as 15 dollars -- typically representing an increase of only about 2 percent of the total cost. As a homeowner, it’s usually best to focus on the other relevant factors when choosing athe right heat strip size for your home.
National Air Warehouse offers furnaces, air handlers, and a wide variety of other HVAC equipment. Contact us today for more information!

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