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October 2, 2015

Detroit, Michigan Furnace Sizing Calculator

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Michigan and Metro Detroit Heating Guide

This article contains information about the process of calculating heating BTU requirements for residential properties and how to select an appropriate based upon those BTU requirements. You can skip to the bottom of the article and try the calculator!

climatezone

Heating Square Footage Range by Climate Zone
ZONE 1  ZONE 2 ZONE 3 ZONE 4 ZONE 5
30 – 35 Btu’s per square foot 35 – 40 Btu’s per square foot 40 – 45 Btu’s per square foot 45 – 50 Btu’s per square foot 50 – 60 Btu’s per square foot

There are a lot of factors when sizing a furnace; square feet, climate zone, insulation, type and number of windows, number of stories, construction type, etc. The general approach for sizing a furnace is to use climate zone factor depending on what part of the US you live in. For metro Detroit and the bottom half of the lower peninsula of Michigan, we use Zone 4 (45-50 BTU’s per square foot). Scroll to the end of this article and you will find our easy furnace sizing calculator.

After you calculate your heating and BTU requirements, the next step is to select a furnace with an output that matches your BTU requirements. To calculate the output for any given gas furnace, multiply it’s efficiency rating by it’s listed input rating to calculate the actual BTU output . For example, if a furnace has a listed input rating of 90,000 BTU’s and an efficiency rating of 80%, it will produce

90,000 Btu input
X .80 efficiency
72,000 Btu actual output

If the same 90,000 Btu furnace has an efficiency rating of 93% it will produce:
90,000 Btu input
X .93 efficiency
83,700 Btu actual output

Most furnaces are offered in 15,000-20,000 BTU increments. The ultimate sizing of your furnace so you just need to get close in terms of sizing. If the furnace you selected is more than 10% below your heating requirement, we suggest you go up to the next size. A little under sizing or over sizing is fine, just don’t over size by more than about 20% of your heating requirement, or short cycling can occur which wastes energy and reduces your comfort

Please Note: The purpose of our calculator is to give a general estimate for furnace heating needs, not exact estimates. This calculate is a great place to start but we recommend that you consult with a reputable HVAC professional before making any purchasing decisions.
climatezone

Heating Square Footage Range by Climate Zone
ZONE 1  ZONE 2 ZONE 3 ZONE 4 ZONE 5
30 – 35 Btu’s per square foot 35 – 40 Btu’s per square foot 40 – 45 Btu’s per square foot 45 – 50 Btu’s per square foot 50 – 60 Btu’s per square foot

FURNACE SIZING CALCULATOR

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Use the climate zone map from the beginning of this article

Additional Reading

Impact of Insulation Variables on Furnaces in Detroit, Michigan

Variables such as your insulation, type and number of windows, number of stories, construction type, etc. will greatly affect the required Btu’s per square for both heating and cooling. A general rule of thumb is that if your home is well insulated with newer style windows, you can select the smaller size system that falls within your total square footage.

If your home is two story it will place less of a load on the system in the downstairs area as the second floor acts as additional insulation. If your home is not well insulated, has older style windows, and/or a larger than average number of windows, you will want to select the larger system which falls within your square footage range. The less insulated and more windows within the environment, the more likely you will experience greater air and heat loss.

Contact Us for More Info on Furnace Sizing for Metro Detroit

If you’re still unsure which system size is right for you, or if you’re having difficulty downloading the Air Conditioner Size Calculator, click here to contact Superior Comfort or call us at 1-734-818-7141. An experienced technician will be happy to assist you.

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