When creating a comfortable living space, a properly sized central air conditioning (AC) system plays a crucial role. Installing an AC system that is too small might leave you sweltering during the hot summer months, while an oversized system can lead to unnecessary energy costs and uneven cooling.
Every home is different, so it’s essential that you find a unit that works best for your specific space. Several factors of your home need to be considered when choosing the size of your AC unit, such as roof height, type of insulation, and number of windows.
Why Does AC Size Matter?
The size of your air conditioner matters for a few reasons. If you install a unit that is too small, it will struggle to maintain your desired temperature, leading to increased wear and tear on the system and potentially higher long-term maintenance costs. Every room in your house won’t be able to cool off, causing your home to be uncomfortable during warmer weather. An AC system that is too large will cycle on and off frequently, resulting in inefficient operation, higher energy bills, and uneven cooling. A unit that’s too large for your home also won’t be able to run long to eliminate humidity from your home, causing mold to build up. An improperly sized unit also increases wear and tear on the system and potentially higher long-term maintenance costs.
What Size Unit Should You Get?
To calculate the right size unit for your home, you’ll need to know your home’s square footage. Your AC unit needs 20 British Thermal Units (BTUs) to cool each square foot of a room. You’ll need to multiply your home’s square footage by 20 to determine the unit you need.
There are a few other conditions that need to be taken into consideration as well:
- Reduce your capacity by 10% if the room is heavily shaded.
- Increase capacity by 10% if the room is very sunny.
- Increase your power by 4,000 BTUs if the unit is used in a kitchen.
- If more than two people typically occupy the space, add 600 BTUs for each additional person.
While it might be tempting to use a simple rule of thumb, such as a certain number of tons per square footage, this approach is not accurate enough to ensure optimal comfort and energy efficiency. HVAC systems have evolved, and modern technology demands a more precise calculation. Relying on a rule of thumb can lead to costly mistakes in the long run.
In the world of HVAC, bigger isn’t always better. Properly sizing your central AC system is critical in achieving the perfect balance between comfort, energy efficiency, and cost savings. Avoid the guesswork and DIY calculations; instead, rely on the expertise of professional HVAC technicians.
Work with Retro HVAC LLC
If you are looking for a company to help with your HVAC needs, consider Retro HVAC Services & Installation LLC. Our licensed and experienced HVAC technicians offer a full range of installation and maintenance services, including tune-ups and repairs.
To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, call (267) 234-1350 or complete our online contact form.