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How many BTUs to heat your house? Gas vs solar/wind.

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  • How many BTUs to heat your house? Gas vs solar/wind.

    How many BTUs to heat your house?

    Do today’s larger average newer homes require much less than the older smaller average homes?

    (I’m wondering how many watts via solar and wind it would take to replace natural gas in a city like Edmonton since a little 1,500 watt electric heater produces about 5,000 BTU )

  • #2
    We built new 2 years ago. It's a decent sized home (2500SF) with high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows. EIFS siding, some passive solar design incorporated in to it and extra air sealing. The HVAC contractor quoted 100,000Btu furnace, but I got them to change it to 85,000Btu. We've not had an issue at all and it's probably still oversized as it's never been on for more than 50% of the time.
    Bigger is not better - it means more cycles with the heat exchanger which leads to shorter life. It also leads to less comfort. Blasts of hot air, then nothing.

    In the end, the size of the furnace isn't as important as the heat loss. New homes have less heat loss (better windows, insulation, etc) and so need less furnace power to keep the house comfortable.

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