- 1 What Size Heat Pump Does My Boise, ID Home Need?
- 1.1 How To Measure Cooling And Heating Capacity
- 1.2 What Size Heat Pump Do I Need For A 2,000-Square Foot Home In Boise, ID?
- 1.3 What Size Heat Pump Do I Need For A 4,000-Square Foot Home In Boise, ID?
- 1.4 How Much Does It Cost To Install A Heat Pump?
- 1.5 Heat Pump Installation In Boise, ID And Valley County
What Size Heat Pump Does My Boise, ID Home Need?
If you’re considering a heat pump instead of another conventional HVAC system for your Treasure Valley home, there are plenty of options to choose from. But, you need to know what size model you’ll need.
Any home’s heating and cooling system needs to be in the Goldilocks zone: Not too big, not too small, but just right.
Most people realize that an HVAC system that’s too small won’t make your home warm or cool enough. It will also break down early from excessive strain.
But the opposite is also true: If you go too big, your heat pump won’t function properly. That means hot and cold spots in the house. And a shorter service life because of extra wear and tear.
So, how do you know what size model to choose?
Ultimately, you need a professional to give you an accurate recommendation because quite a few factors are involved.
But the good news is that you can get a rough estimate before we come out to your home. That way, you’re ahead of the game when it’s time to pick your system!
In this article, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about sizing and choosing your new heat pump. If you have any questions about your Boise Metro or Valley County home, call or email us here at Snowflake Air.
How To Measure Cooling And Heating Capacity
When it comes to HVAC equipment, the two measurements for heating and cooling capabilities are:
We’ll briefly go into what they mean and how you can estimate your home’s needs. But, we need to stress that these formulas are only part of the equation.
A professional, more accurate load calculation factors in your home’s layout, insulation, windows, and more.
Capacity For Heat Pumps Vs. Conventional Furnaces
Traditional gas furnaces and central air systems use BTUs for heat and tonnage for the AC. Heat pumps are different in that you’ll only get a tonnage rating.
We’re only measuring how much heat, or thermal energy, your heat pump transfers from one place to another. That’s as opposed to gas or electric furnaces, which generate heat.
But, the two terms are related, as you’ll see below.
BTU stands for “British Thermal Unit.” It measures how much energy your system must produce to heat one pound of water by one degree.
That seems impractical when we’re talking about keeping your home warm. But, it’s used as a standard measuring unit to quantify how much heat your system can transfer into your home.
You can estimate how many BTUs your heat pump needs to produce by multiplying the square footage of your home by 30 for newer homes and 35 for older homes (Newer homes generally have better insulation and retain heat better).
Where BTUs measure how much power you need to heat a pound of water, tonnage measures the amount of heat you need to melt a one-ton block of ice.
In practical terms, a system needs one tonnage of cooling to remove 12,000 BTUs worth of heat from your house every hour.
You can get a rough estimate of the tonnage your home needs by measuring one ton of cooling for every 600 square feet.
Now, let’s see how this applies to some common home sizes here in Boise Metro and up in Valley County.
What Size Heat Pump Do I Need For A 2,000-Square Foot Home In Boise, ID?
If your heat pump is your primary heating source, a 2,000-square-foot home in Boise, ID needs a five-ton system. Or three tons for cooling and supplementing another heating system. But, you need a professional load calculation to be certain.
The difference comes in when you convert tonnage to BTUs:
2,000 square feet multiplied by 30 = 60,000 BTUs for heating. Divide that by 12,000 (one ton of cooling for every 12,000 BTUs), and you’re at 5 tons.
But it’s one ton of cooling for every 12,000 BTUs. So 2,000 divided by six is 333.
That’s why it’s important to work with an HVAC contractor who understands if you’re planning to use the system in the winter on its own. Or if your heat pump is more for air conditioning and “tops off” your existing heater.
What Size Heat Pump Do I Need For A 4,000-Square Foot Home In Boise, ID?
A 4,000 square foot Boise home needs a six-ton heat pump for cooling and some heat. Or a ten-ton system if it’s also your primary heat source. But, you need a professional load calculation to factor in your layout, insulation, and more.
The formulas work the same as with a 2,000-square foot home.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Heat Pump?
The average ducted heat pump cost in Valley County or Boise Metro is around $7,000, including the unit, labor, ductwork adjustments, and more. High-end systems can be $18,000. Mini splits start around $3,000 per room and often average $18,000 for an entire home.
Of course, those are some big ranges. This is mainly because ducted units and ductless systems use very different setups.