Winters can be chilly here in the Pacific Northwest, and you’ll be glad your ductless heat pump is doing its job. By choosing the right heat pump size for your home, you can rest assured that your space will stay cozy, no matter what the weather is like outside. But how do you determine the right size for your unique home or business? Let’s look at how to calculate the size you need so you can make an informed decision.

Calculating the Right Size Heat Pump for Your House

Calculating the right size is like picking the Goldilocks heat pump for your home. If it is too small, and your heat pump will run constantly, leading to a shorter lifespan. Too big, and you’re just overspending on a ductless heat pump that’s designed to do more. Luckily, there’s a general rule of thumb for figuring out how to size heat pumps. On average, it takes about 1,000 BTUs to heat every 100 square feet of space. So, if you want to heat 12,000 square feet, you’ll need a ductless heat pump that has 120,000 BTU of power.

Although square footage is one of the best ways to determine the size of the heat pump you’ll need, it’s not the only thing to consider. Other factors, like the climate, your insulation, your window efficiency, window orientation, houses air tightness, and your houses layout. These can all impact the size of a ductless heat pump that you’ll need.

At The Heat Pump Store, our pros can help you calculate the BTUs needed to effectively keep your home comfortable year-round.

Problems if Your Heat Pump is Too Small

If your ductless heat pump is too small, it will need to work much harder to heat your home. This results in a system that’s constantly running, which can make your heat pump wear out more quickly and eventually fail. It’s also important to note that an undersized system can lead to higher electrical costs because the system is constantly running at capacity. When determining your ductless heat pump size, you’ll want to pick one that can keep up with the size of your home or business. Otherwise, on the coldest days, it will likely struggle, leaving you with a chilly home and higher energy bills.

If you have backup electric resistance heat (also known as heat strips), they’ll compensate for a lagging heat pump, but your electricity bills will increase dramatically. When correctly sizing a heat pump with heat strips, the heat strips should only turn on in the most extreme of low temperatures. The heat strip switch is usually designed to engage around 5-10 degrees before the heat pump’s lowest design temperature limit.

Problems if Your Heat Pump is Too Large

When picking a ductless heat pump for your house, it’s important not to err on the side of “too big.” A ductless heat pump that’s too big can lead to just as many problems as one that’s too small. Most heat pumps are equipped with variable-speed motors that can automatically adjust to the temperatures outside and your heating and cooling needs inside. When your heat pump is too big, the lowest variable speed may still be too high for your small space, leading to a unit that’s constantly kicking on and off to attempt to keep your home at a stable indoor temperature. This is called “short cycling”.” When a heat pump “short cycles” it leads to unnecessary wear on the compressor and a shorter lifespan for the heat pump in general.

This can lead to a home that’s too warm or has inconsistencies like hot and cold spots throughout your space.

Additionally, a larger heat pump will lead to unnecessary spending. The bigger the heat pump, the more you’ll spend, and purchasing one that’s too big for your home isn’t worth the added cost. It’s also more likely to fail as a result of kicking on and off constantly to keep your home comfortably warm.

Our experts at The Heat Pump Store can help you pick the right size ductless heat pump for your home at the right price point.

Find the Right Sized Heat Pump for Your Home

When determining the right ductless heat pump size for your home, it’s always best to enlist help from the pros. We’re the heat pump experts, and we can help you in finding custom heat pumps for your home and businesses every day.

If you’re shopping for a new heat pump, we’d love to help.

Visit one of The Heat Pump Store’s locations near you to learn more about ductless heat pumps and to schedule an appointment today.