How to Determine the Right Furnace Size

right size furnace - Twin Cities MN

How Do I Decide the Right Size of the Furnace For My Home?

Winters in Minnesota can be extremely cold, which is why it’s critical that you have a well-working furnace in your home. A furnace can’t fully operate if it’s not sized accordingly. In the article below, our St. Paul heating contractors help you determine the right size furnace for your home. 

Why is the Right Size Furnace Important?

Too small a furnace can lead to high energy bills, inconsistent heating, and shorter heating system lifespans. Not to mention the wrong size furnace won’t keep your Twin Cities home warm during the cold winters. A large furnace, on the other hand, may make parts of your home uncomfortably hot. It’s going to cycle on and off too much, which could cause your furnace to age. If you want to prevent these issues, you need to make sure you choose the right size furnace for your home. 

right size furnace - Twin Cities MN

How Do I Decide the Right Size of the Furnace For My Home?

Their BTU capability distinguishes gas furnaces. BTU stands for the British Thermal Units. One BTU reflects the amount of energy needed to heat one pound of water by one degree of Fahrenheit. You’re going to have to do a little math to calculate the right BTU you’re going to need for your home heating.

Calculate Your Furnace Size Using Square Footage

Your home’s square footage is a good way to determine the right size furnace. If you’re not sure exactly what your home’s size is, look up your home on Zillow or Redfin. Our friends at Gilmore Heating, Air and Plumbing, a heating contractor in Sacramento, say that most of the furnace size charts are based on eight-foot ceilings. If your ceilings are higher or lower, make adjustments to your calculations accordingly. To calculate furnace size by square footage, you take the square footage and multiply it by the furnace output. Continue reading to learn more about calculating furnace size.

[Square footage x (BTUs per square foot)]

Furnace Size

There are plenty of furnace size charts to choose from. Most of them will compare the home’s square footage, and BTU needed to heat the home. The following is a general guideline: 

  • 1,200 square foot home would take between 35,000 and 75,000 BTUs.
  • 1,500-square-foot home would take between 45,000 and 90,000 BTUs.
  • 1,800-square-foot home would take between 55,000 and 110,000 BTUs.
  • 2,100-square-foot home would take between 65,000 and 125,000 BTUs.
  • 2,400-square-foot homes would take between 75,000 and 145,000 BTUs.

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Consider the Climate 

Another consideration before new furnace installation is climate. Being that Twin Cities, MN gets extremely cold in the winter suggests that you get a powerful furnace. Selecting a furnace that is going to last in colder climates is key.  

Hire a Heating and Cooling Company

If you’re searching for a heating and cooling company near me, look no further. McQuillan Bros is happy to help you with all of your furnace needs. Whether it’s furnace installation, replacement, repair, or maintenance, we can help you select the best furnace size, brand, and model. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate.   

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Complete the form below and one of our team members will give you a call to help get you scheduled. If you have an urgent need please call us at
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Furnace Won’t Turn On: What to Do

Furnace Won't Turn On: Here's What to Do!

Furnace won’t turn on? As a Minneapolis homeowner, a broken furnace during winter may seem like the end of the world.  Don’t try to survive all season without a furnace. Contact a heating and cooling company in St. Paul for furnace repair. In the meantime, here’s what to do if your furnace won’t turn on.

Your Furnace is Not Receiving Power 

This is a common problem with most furnaces. The good thing is that it is easy to identify and fix. The electric input in your furnace could be damaged or tampered with causing this problem. 

To determine whether the furnace is not receiving power, you can check other appliances in your house. If they can turn on, then your furnace is likely not receiving power. 

Check the circuit breaker and make sure that it is not switched off. Your furnace will have its own circuit breaker. Check whether it is on or off. If it is off, push it to the on position- but only once. The circuit breaker is supposed to switch off in the event there is a fault along with the power systems. If it switches off after you turn it on, call for furnace repair services in St. Paul, MN. 

Furnace Won't Turn On - furnace repair St Paul MN

The Float Switch is Up 

A float switch is a sensor that monitors the level of condensate within your furnace. Remember, your furnace burns fuel to warm you up. This burning produces condensate which cools and collects as water within the furnace in a place called the condensate pan. 

As it accumulates, it lifts the float switch. This collected water is then drained by a condensation pump because it is usually acidic.

Therefore, if the float switch is up, it could mean that the condensation pump is not working correctly. Check if the drain is clear. If it is not, clear is so that the collected water can drain and the float switch can drop. 

Clogged Air Filter 

Your air filter prevents dust and debris from being blown into your house. With time, the air filter will accumulate excess dust and clog. Once clogged the furnace will turn off to prevent overheating. 

The air filter should be changed frequently to prevent these issues and to keep your furnace running. 

Your Thermostat is Acting Up 

Your thermostat is important to your furnace. It allows the furnace to turn on automatically once a certain threshold is met. Usually, you will have set this threshold. 

Sometimes, thermostats misbehave and lose their programming, explains our friends at Gilmore Heating, Air, & Plumbing, a heating company in Folsom. This makes the reset to their default settings. If this is the case, a simple reset will have your house warmed up again in no time. If you are not sure whether this is the issue, set the thermostat temperatures at 10 degrees hotter than the ambient temperature and observe. 

The Blower Motor is Not Working 

The blower motor blows hot air through the vents when your furnace is on. You can easily tell whether your blower motor is working by looking at your furnace. Usually, there is a small window on the side of your furnace. 

If you look through it, you should see a blinking green light. This is the blower motor. Check whether the light is blinking, if not, call for a furnace repair service company

Keep your House Warm All the Time 

Staying warm throughout is a matter of making sure that your furnace is in its best condition. Contact McQuillan Bros and enjoy the best furnace inspection and repair services throughout the year.

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Complete the form below and one of our team members will give you a call to help get you scheduled. If you have an urgent need please call us at
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Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace?

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Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace?

Although we are an entire season away from winter, it doesn’t hurt to prepare in advance. It’s never too late to start equipping your home for winter, especially if you are a homeowner in Northern US cities like Minneapolis. One of the most crucial steps of readying your house for the cold is inspecting your furnace for signs of wear and tear. The last thing you want to do is wake up to a freezing cold house in the middle of winter.

However, many people have trouble deciding whether they should keep forking out their money for furnace repairs or just replace the furnace entirely. Ultimately, each case is unique, and the decision to repair or replace varies. Ideally, this decision should be made long before winter starts. This will give you more time to research and ask around for estimates. Also, it’s likely that it will cost you less in parts and labor as there will be less demand for a White Bear Lake HVAC contractor at the time. 
Additionally, you will be able to plan and budget your finances. Below is a guide prepared by the White Bear Lake heating and cooling experts at McQuillan Bros. Use this guide to help you decide between repairing or replacing your furnace.

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Your Furnace Is Leaking Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas that is fatal if inhaled for extended periods. If your furnace has a cracked combustion chamber and is leaking carbon monoxide, it needs to be replaced ASAP. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 2,200 people died from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning between 2010 and 2015. Majority of these deaths happening during winter.
If you notice any of the following, your furnace may be leaking carbon dioxide:

  • Streaks of soot around the furnace.
  • Excess moisture on surfaces like windows and walls.
  • A yellow flame instead of blue in the furnace.
  • Rust on the furnace exhaust pipe.
  • Nausea, disorientation, headache, and other flu-like symptoms. 

Immediately evacuate the building and seek medical attention. Once you have called the fire department and notified your utility company to shut off your gas, contact a White Bear Lake HVAC contractor to replace your furnace.

Your Furnace is Over 15 Years Old

A high-quality furnace should last 15-30 years before being replaced, according to the US Department of Energy. Over time, even the best made and maintained heating systems would start breaking down, working less efficiently, and requiring more repairs. It would be economical to replace an old furnace instead of spending thousands of dollars on repairs. However, if the furnace is relatively young and still has much of its lifespan ahead of it, having it serviced would be the better choice.

The Cost of Repairing the Furnace is Over Half the Cost of Replacing It

It makes basic economic sense, and even the experts recommend it. If the furnace repair cost is more than 50% the cost of a new furnace, replace it. An older system that has exceeded around three-quarters or 75% of its life expectancy should be replaced if repairing it is more than a third of the replacement cost.

Your Heating Bills Are Increasing

Aside from the usual fluctuations due to weather patterns, supply, and demand, you should be concerned if you notice unusual spikes in your energy bills. Due to wear and tear and simple aging, the furnace’s internal components start breaking down and work less efficiently. This puts extra strain on the furnace.

To ensure the output remains the same, the furnace will use more energy. So, you end up paying more for the same level of heating. Our friends at Gilmore Heating and Air, a heating and cooling company in Placerville, say that if the furnace is less than 15 years old and the cost of repair is less than half the cost of replacing it, it makes economic sense to replace the defective parts. However, if the furnace is older than 15 years, it would be better to replace it with a newer heating system.

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Your Furnace is Working Less Efficiently 

Have you had to tinker with your thermostat settings more often than you used to? Does your home seem to be heated unevenly, with some rooms being warmer than others are? Although your heating system may just be losing power, or the duct system may be struggling to distribute heat, it is also likely that your furnace is working less efficiently than it used to. If it is a relatively new system and the repair cost does not exceed half the replacement costs, contact an HVAC contractor in White Bear Lake. Our team of professionals will come out for heating maintenance. However, if the furnace is advanced in age, repairing it would only be postponing the inevitable. Replace it instead.

A healthy and well-functioning furnace is crucial to living through the cold months of winter. When contemplating, “should I repair or replace my furnace?” use this guide to help you make the best decision. McQuillan Bros, MN furnace installation experts, are happy to help. Contact us today for honest work at fair prices.

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Complete the form below and one of our team members will give you a call to help get you scheduled. If you have an urgent need please call us at
(651) 243-4002