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Althoff Industries, Inc. Blog

The Importance of Proper Sizing for Your Commercial Heating Equipment


When handling the commercial heating needs of a facility, our technicians have to take many factors into consideration. These factors are more extensive than for residential homes, although many are the same on a more extensive scope. One of the most important challenges for proper commercial heating installation and replacement is properly sizing the equipment to match the space. 

Unfortunately, poor sizing for commercial HVAC equipment is a common problem our technicians encounter when doing repairs or maintenance. Not all commercial HVAC contractors make the same level of effort in sizing equipment, sometimes taking shortcuts and using “guesstimates” when it comes to judging how powerful a heating system a facility needs. This is why we encourage you to always work with the best people offering commercial HVAC in Naperville, IL—the difference in proper sizing alone is tremendous.

The Problems With a Poorly Sized Commercial Heating System

You can probably guess why a heating system that’s undersized would create trouble for a commercial space: it won’t be able to raise the indoor temperature to the desired level. Instead, the heater will run continuously attempting to do a job it cannot do, leading to large energy waste and a space that still isn’t correctly heated.

What about an oversized heating system? This is where less thorough technicians most often make mistakes: they think erring on the side of too large isn’t a serious problem. But too powerful a heater is as much a concern as one that’s too small. An oversized heater will so rapidly change the indoor temperature that the climate controls will shut the system off early, leaving large parts of the space unheated. The heater will turn back on a short time later, then shut down again, and this repeated process (called short-cycling) drains energy and wears down equipment much faster.

Finding the Proper Tonnage for a Heating System

The measure commercial HVAC professionals use for sizing a new system is tonnage. A 50-ton commercial heating system produces 50 tons of heat in an hour, which is equal to 600,000 BTUs (1 ton = 12,000 BTUs). This is a convenient measurement for the power of heating equipment.

To accurately size a new heating system for installation, our technicians perform a heat load calculation to determine how many tons of heat per hour a space needs to meet its heating requirements. The calculation is different for every facility and takes into account various factors such as the heat generated by other equipment, the insulation and heat loss of the space, the number of people on average in the space, heat given off by lighting, the ventilation system, the amount of exposure to the outdoor air, etc. Once we’ve gathered the necessary information, we can perform the calculation and come up with the correct tonnage for a new installation. 

We never take shortcuts when it comes to proper commercial HVAC equipment sizing. It’s why we can offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We’ll work closely with you through the process so you’ll end up with the exact new installation to meet the requirements of your business.

Rely on Althoff Industries, Inc. for all your commercial HVAC installations and replacement. Challenges Accepted!

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