How to determine the right sized AC system for your home.
Not all AC systems are created equally just as not every home is the same. That’s why it’s vital to ensure that you install the AC system that’s correctly sized to fit your home. Only then will it cool your home effectively and efficiently to save money on energy costs. We’ve got the information you need to help make this important decision.
Understanding size, tonnage, square footage and BTUs.
In AC terms, size refers to cooling power, not physical size and you must look at the tonnage or BTUs (British Thermal Units), which are a measure of heat. While tonnage is a measure of how much heat an air conditioner can remove in one hour (tonnage isn’t the weight of the AC unit), 1 ton = 12,000 BTUs / hour. So, a two-ton air conditioner removes 24,000 BTUs per hour. When a central AC system is listed by BTUs rather than by tonnage, it’s usually referring to BTUs per hour, so the two measures are directly comparable if you multiply or divide by 12. A window AC unit might be around 5,000 to 10,000 BTUs, while residential central AC systems average between 20,000 to 50,000 BTUs. The chart below can help you see how many BTUs are usually needed to cool certain rooms:
|Bedroom or home office
|Master bedroom or playroom
|Living room, family room, or open plan
Other factors determining the best AC system for your home.
The climate where you live can make a difference. Hot areas will have higher cooling demands and humidity will impact the size and type of AC system required to cool your home. The amount of natural shade your home gets, the type of roofing and how insulated your home is. How your home is situated is also important. For example a single-family home may have higher cooling needs than a townhouse of the same size with one or more walls connected to neighbors. Similarly, a lower floor condo will need less cooling than a top floor condo.
The HVAC professionals you’re working with to purchase and install a new AC system will make a final determination by using Manual J along with their own experience servicing AC systems in your area.
Have any questions about the AC system that best fits your home and its cooling needs? Contact us today!