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What Size Heat Pump Do I Need? A Florida Tech Explains

If you’re shopping for a new heat pump, you may have heard that the size you need to properly heat/cool your home needs to be determined by a technician.

This is correct. To determine the exact size heat pump you need for your home, a technician will need to perform a load calculation.

However, as a homeowner, you should be informed about what goes into determining the “right-size” heat pump for your home, so you can be sure the technician you hire is providing you with an accurate recommendation.

Below, we’ll answer 3 questions that will give you a better idea of what size heat pump you need for your Florida home, including:

  • How Are Heat Pumps Sized?
  • How Do I Determine What Size Heat Pump I Need?
  • Does Heat Pump Size Really Matter?

Rather skip straight to the answer of what size heat pump you need for your Florida home? Learn more about the heat pump installation services we offer or...


How Are Heat Pumps Sized?

Heat pump size is measured in tonnage (tons) and is essentially a measurement of how much heat your system can move in or out of your home per hour.

Let’s dive into this a little more...

Heat pumps are different than air conditioners or furnaces in that they can both heat and cool your home.

In heating mode, a heat pump absorbs heat from the outside air and warms your home’s air with this heat.

In cooling mode, a heat pump draws heat out of your home’s air and dumps that heat outside.

So when we talk about the “size” of heat pump you need for your home, what we’re really referring to is the amount of heat a heat pump can either draw into or take out of your home per hour.

Residential heat pumps generally range from 1–5 tons, but the exact size of heat pump you’ll need for your home will depend on a variety of factors. Let’s look at those, next.

How Do I Determine What Size Heat Pump I Need? 


An air source heat pump on the back of a home. Photo courtesy of Flickr

Here’s the deal: For an accurate estimate on what size heat pump you need for your home, you’ll need to have a professional perform what’s called a load calculation.

A load calculation takes into consideration specific aspects of your home, including factors such as:

  • Size (Square Footage) of Your Home
  • Climate
  • The Orientation of Your Home (North-Facing, East-Facing, etc.)
  • Number of Windows
  • Quality and Quantity of Insulation
  • Number and Type of Doors
  • Type of Construction
  • And More…

Based on this information, a tech will be able to determine how “large” of a heat pump you need to heat/cool your home efficiently.

Does Heat Pump Size Really Matter?

It’s a fair question! You may be wondering if heat pump size really matters or if it’s just one of those things HVAC companies tell you.

Here’s the answer: Heat pump sizes matters, a lot in fact.

If you purchase a heat pump that is too small for your home, it will struggle to cool/heat your home, which can result in:

  • Uneven Temperatures Throughout Your House
  • Increased Energy Bills
  • Shortened System Lifespan
  • Expensive Repairs/Replacements
  • Lack of Dehumidification (Leaving a Cold, Clammy House and Possible Biological Growth)

If you purchase a heat pump that is too large for your home, it will cool/heat your home too quickly and then shut off, which is called short cycling. While this may seem like a good thing, short cycling can put a lot of stress on your heat pump, resulting in:

  • Hot and cold spots throughout your home (conditioned air doesn’t have time to circulate).
  • Shortened System Lifespan
  • Expensive Repairs/Replacements

When you think about the financial investment of a heat pump, you want it to last as long as possible. Ensuring that your system is the right size is one of the keys for maximizing that investment.

Need an Expert's Opinion on Heat Pump Sizing? Hire Florida’s Best: Red Cap

If you’re considering installing a heat pump and need a sizing recommendation from a professional, we’re the team to call. With years of experience serving Florida homeowners, you can trust us to give you an accurate sizing recommendation and a stellar installation.

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