Why It’s Important to Correctly Size Your Heating System

When you first go shopping for a home heating system, one of the first things you’ll likely notice is that there are many different sizes of heating units. At first, you may be tempted to buy and install the largest unit you can find. Larger units generate more heat, which is better for your home, right? Well, yes and no. Yes, a larger unit can generate a lot more heat. However, this is not always the best option for your home. Read on for an explanation of why it’s important to correctly size your heating system.


When your heating unit turns on and off rapidly throughout the day, that’s called short cycling. This is one of the most common side effects of installing an oversized heating unit. When a heating unit that is too big for your home is turned on, it very quickly exceeds the recommended heat output for your home. This leads the system to think that the central unit is overheating, which trips a safety feature and shuts the heater down. A short time later, the unit restarts and the whole thing starts over again.

Long periods of short-cycling are not only annoying, but damaging to several parts of your heating system. The constant stopping and starting causes vastly increased wear and tear on the burners and heat exchanger. This severely shortens the life of your system, as well as increasing the likelihood of major problems like a cracked heat exchanger.


Installing an oversized heater in your home is much like trying to outfit a car with a jet engine: they’re just not designed to work together. Along with problems like short-cycling, an oversized unit will burn more fuel and breakdown more frequently over time. This will lead to more expense, both in terms of higher heating bills and increased repair costs. The heater will also be less efficient at actually heating, due to its irregular heating cycle.

If you aren’t sure what the optimal size is for a home heating system, call APC Plumbing & Heating. We provide professional heating services throughout Denver.


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