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Why buying a bigger furnace isn’t always better

That infamous phrase that is so often tossed around — “Bigger is Better” — usually seems like a good idea upfront. When comparing like-to-like, the bigger option seems more sturdy, more interesting, and more substantial. However, in practice, size is not always what matters most, and the larger option ends up being the worse choice specifically because it’s too big. In the world of home appliances, seeking out a bigger furnace can end up costing quite a bit more in time and money versus choosing the furnace that fits just right.


Up-front, installing an oversized furnace will cost more. Because the furnace is larger and trying to be moved into space likely laid out for a smaller unit, the installation costs will be significantly higher. Trying to accommodate an oversized furnace within a home means rethinking the entire space where the furnace sits, taking into account the fact that the original fuel connections may need to be moved to re-align with the larger furnace size. Additionally, the way the ductwork of the home is laid out and is expected to connect to the furnace may need to be moved or replaced.

Short Cycling

A larger furnace is entirely capable of producing more power, and thus, heating a home faster, than a smaller unit. Where this becomes an issue, however, is when the larger furnace is heating a smaller home, as the furnace is able to get the home up to temperature faster than expected, shutting down sooner than intended, only to repeat the cycle soon after. This is known as short-cycling, and it takes a toll on a furnace, as each unit is designed to run for a designated cycle. Cutting this cycle before it reaches its full course means the furnace will need to cycle more frequently while never reaching its full efficiency, and using more fuel than necessary to do so.

In the end, the rising fuel costs and wear and tear on the furnace due to short cycling will lead to higher monthly bills, as well as more frequent repairs for the furnace.

Uneven Heat

Spring-boarding off of the short-cycling issue, because of the frequent smaller cycles, the temperature balance in the home will be thrown off by an improperly sized furnace. As each short cycle runs, the total heat in the home may reach the desired temperature, but because the furnace isn’t running at long enough cycles, the heat won’t be blown through the ducts and dispersed as 

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necessary, leaving some rooms much warmer, and leaving larger cold spots in other areas around the house. What this means essentially is that by choosing a larger furnace creates a scenario where the furnace isn’t even able to function as intended.

Choosing the correct furnace can be a complicated task, and seeing something larger as better is an easy misunderstanding that can end up being costly. If your home’s current furnace is reaching the end of its lifespan, and a new furnace is on the horizon, don’t feel like this is a decision you have to make on your own. Rather, reach out to a professional and licensed technician for guidance. With over 30 years of experience, the experts at Duane Blanton Family Home Services can answer any lingering questions about what to look for in a replacement furnace unit, and help guide you on the road to a new, better furnace for your home. Before committing to a furnace that’s too large, reach out to the professionals at Duane Blanton, either via phone at (815) 781-2567, or online via their convenient online scheduling portal!

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