What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Whether you’re building a new home or updating your existing HVAC system, there is one question you're bound to consider: what size air conditioner do I need? Choosing the ideal AC size is a balancing act. Too large, and you could encounter poor humidity control and significant energy costs. Too small, and the unit might not be able to reach comfortable temperatures on extremely hot days. Appropriate air conditioner sizing is required to enjoy an efficient, cost-effective and comfortable cooling experience.

The Importance of Sizing Your Air Conditioner Correctly

Ensuring your air conditioner provides the proper cooling capacity is a matter of comfort and keeping your energy bills low. Here’s why you shouldn’t just guess the appropriate air conditioner size:

  • Humidity control: An oversized unit cools too quickly, reducing humidity removal and leaving your home clammy. A right sized air conditioner will control indoor humidity levels more successfully.
  • Even temperatures: A properly sized air conditioner circulates cool air evenly and reduces irritating temperature variations between cycles.
  • Peak day performance: Systems that don't have enough cooling capacity struggle to reach the target temperature on hot summer afternoons, so you need a unit large enough to keep up with cooling demand.
  • Proper cycling: Air conditioners start up and turn back off with sufficient run time during each cycle. Units that are too big for the space cycle too quickly, leading to40 additional wear and tear. Then again, an undersized system runs continuously, which may cause the unit to become overheated.
  • Manageable utility bills: Cycling troubles caused by selecting the wrong size of air conditioner cause higher utility bills. However, a unit that is the recommended size will operate efficiently and keep your utility bills in check.

Understanding Air Conditioner Size

Cooling capacity is calculated in British thermal units (BTUs). A BTU is a standard unit of energy that indicates the amount of heat an air conditioner can remove every hour. The majority of room air conditioners range from 5,000 to 18,000 BTUs. Because central air conditioners are larger, they’re usually measured in tons. A one-ton system is proportionate to 12,000 BTUs. Many central air conditioning models range from 1 to 5 tons.

Sizing a Room Air Conditioner

For window or portable air conditioners, the right size mainly depends on the room’s square footage. Measure the room—length x width—and match it to the appropriate BTUs:

  • A room measuring 150 to 350 square feet usually will require a 5,000 to 8,000 BTU air conditioner.
  • A room that is around 350 and 550 square feet could need an 8,000 to 12,000 BTU unit.
  • A spacious room or open area of 550 to 1,000 square feet may take a 12,000 to 18,000 BTU unit.

These general recommendations don’t account for factors like interior heat gain or whether or not you have any shade trees around your home to block out the sun. For a more exact calculation, contact a cooling specialist at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.

Sizing a Central Air Conditioner

Identifying the right size of central air conditioner begins with the home’s square footage, but specific sizing demands a more in-depth look. HVAC Experts rely on load calculations detailed in Manual J to determine a home’s particular cooling requirements. Here are the considerations that technicians will examine:

  • Square footage: How large of a home you have significantly affects its AC requirements, with bigger homes generally requiring more cooling capacity.
  • Local climate: Where you live affects your cooling preferences as well. Areas with very hot, humid summers generally demand a higher cooling capacity than cooler, drier regions.
  • Interior heat gain: The heat produced inside your home is made by people, lights, electronics and appliances. Higher internal heat elevates your home’s cooling demands.
  • Insulation levels: The amount of insulation in your walls, attic and floors affects how much heat gets into your living space. Well-insulated homes hold cool air more effectively, reducing the cooling load.
  • Air infiltration rate: This relates to how much outside air enters through leaks or cracks in your home. Homes with a higher air infiltration requires more cooling to counteract the warm, humid outdoor air that makes its way through the walls and into your home.
  • Home orientation and window layout: The direction your home faces determines its sun exposure, which in turn impacts your home’s cooling load. A single-family home with sprawling south-facing windows absorbs more heat and necessitates a bigger air conditioner than a north-facing condo.

Other Factors to Consider When Buying an AC

Besides knowing what size air conditioner you need, consider these additional factors when installing a new air conditioner:

  • Brand: Not all air conditioners are created equal. It’s crucial121 to buy a trustworthy brand for dependability and longevity.
  • Efficiency rating: The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) signifies the total heat an air conditioner can eliminate per unit of electricity it consumes. Higher SEER ratings signify increased efficiency, lowering your utility bills.
  • Maintenance requirements: Regular maintenance keeps your system running efficiently. Most air conditioner producers recommend yearly tune-ups to locate and repair small problems before they turn into high-priced repairs.

Get Expert Help Sizing Your Air Conditioner from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

Finding139 the best air conditioner size can be daunting. The Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help. We can provide you with custom cooling remedies to enhance home comfort, efficiency and energy savings.

From establishing your unique cooling requirements to helping you browse different brands and efficiency ratings, we’re with you at every step. For help picking out the perfect air conditioner for your home in Melbourne, call 321-428-7635 today to schedule your appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.

chat now widget box