Mommy Katie: Stay Cool This Summer with an Appropriately Sized AC Unit

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Stay Cool This Summer with an Appropriately Sized AC Unit



With another scorching summer in full swing, having an AC system in your home seems paramount. However, are you wasting your money on an oversized AC unit? Yes, the size of the AC should depend on the size of the area it is supposed to cool. In order to figure out what is the right size for you, follow these instructions. Information gathered here comes from air conditioning experts at Action Air Conditioning, Heating & Solar.

A Ton of New Information

The efficiency of your AC is measured in tons. Not the weight measure, though. It is simply a measure which says that it can remove 12000 BTUs of heat per hour. If you are interested in efficiency ratings, consult this article here.

So, now what are BTUs?

The abbreviation stands for British Thermal Unit, the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree on the Fahrenheit scale. Normally, you can expect to find units ranging from 1 to 5 tons for residential use.

What Happens if You Go too Small?

Plain and simple, if your AC unit is too small, it won’t effectively cool your home. There is a general rule of thumb that you need about 1 ton per every 400 square feet. Calculate the area of your home, and the tonnage of your unit to find out whether you’ve gone too small. Another downside of the small units is that it will constantly be running at the highest power, significantly shortening its lifespan.

What Happens if You Go too Big?

If the AC unit is too big, you will experience a cycle of periods when it works followed by a period when the AC is off. This is because an oversized AC unit is able to process and cool down all the air in a much shorter time than an adequately-sized one. This means that the unit will turn on and off several times a day, which is extremely energy-inefficient. It will actually cost you more in terms of electricity than a suitably-sized AC unit running constantly all day.

Factors Influencing AC Size

In order to pick the right size of AC for your home, you need to take into account several factors. The most important one is, as mentioned before, the size of the house. However, there are other things you need to take into account. For instance, the type of windows on your house. Modern windows are much better at insulating your home, so they won’t be a point of temperature loss. Finally, if your home has areas with vaulted ceilings, your AC will have to work extra hard to cool the larger volume of air. If you or your contractor calculate that you need an AC unit larger than 5 tons, the general rule is to install more than one unit and zone your home.

Information given in this article is purely informative in nature and should not be used as a basis for building an AC system. Contact an air conditioning expert to get an exact calculation based on your individual house and needs.

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