SMO Energy

How to Select the Right Heating Equipment

Selecting the right heating equipment for your home can make a major difference in your family’s comfort and your home’s energy efficiency. Finding the right type of heating equipment is reliant on a number of factors, including the size of your home, the climate you live in and the type of duct work you can install.

Home Size

When it comes to selecting a heating and cooling system, it may seem like the old adage of “the bigger, the better” would be a good idea. In reality, many homeowners are surprised to learn that having an over sized system for your space can actually decrease its overall efficiency, noted Bob Vila. Vila explained, “It will cause the system to cycle on and off frequently, producing excess wear and tear on the components. The system may never reach peak operating temperatures.”


The type of ductwork you are able to have in your home can also affect the type of heating system that will work best. According to Home Advisor, there are three common types of ductwork for HVAC systems:

  • Aluminum flex: This is tougher and more expensive than vinyl flex. Since rodents aren’t able to chew through the aluminum, this is a good option if your ductwork goes underneath the house. Like the name says, it’s flexible, so it can fit in different positions.
  • Vinyl flex: Vinyl ductwork is more affordable than aluminum, but not as tough. Like aluminum flex, it’s a flexible material. This is the most commonly used material for ductwork.
  • Galvanized steel/rigid pipe: This heavy duty material requires more maintenance to install because it needs to be sealed and insulated on the outside. Since it’s rigid, it’s more difficult to make turns, since the contractor has to install curved pieces.

Heating System Location

Different heating systems require placement in different parts of the home, and space constraints may make it impractical to use certain systems. Improper thermostat placement can hurt the efficiency of your system and also affect your comfort. For instance, if the sensors are located by a window, the readings could be inaccurate since windows tend to be the coolest part of the wall. On a similar note, don’t place the thermostat too close to a vent, because that could skew the temperature readings. The thermostat should be located in a spot that gets the most accurate reading.

Heating Load Calculations

In order to determine what system will be the most efficient for your home, your HVAC contractor will need to do some calculating. The three most important factors are:

  • The size of your home: If you have a larger home, naturally it will take more energy to provide heat throughout. However, overheating a tiny space is not efficient.
  • The type of insulation: Depending on how well your home is insulated, you may be losing some energy.
  • The type of climate that you live in: Colder climates require more consistent and dramatic heating.

These three factors can help determine the best type of heating system for your home. There are online tools that can give you a calculation when you fill out a long questionnaire, but your best option is to request a free estimate from an expert. Because there are so many factors involved in determining the right heating equipment, this estimate will likely require an expert to review your home and insulation. That way, you will be able to learn more about the different options that are right for you.

Make sure to talk to your energy consultant about any concerns you might have with energy efficiency, indoor air quality or budget. Everyone has specialized needs and expectations when it comes to home heating and cooling. Consulting with a professional is the best way to ensure you are selecting the right equipment for you home.