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
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.