How to Choose the Proper Size Air Conditioner

Manufacturers produce different air conditioners with different sizes. This raises an important question that always pops up when you are shopping for one; what is the best size of air conditioning unit for my home?

With air conditioning unit, the term ”size” doesn’t indicate a conditioner’s physical dimensions, but rather its ability to produce a consistent flow of cooled air. Both the size of the room and the size of the air conditioners are two things that need to be understood and considered.

How Air Conditioner Size Is Measured
An air conditioning system’s ability to produce cooled air is expressed in British Thermal Unit per hour (BTU/hr.) and in tons. One BTU is equal to the amount of energy needed to raise one degree of water by one degree F whereas one ton equals 12,000 BTU per hour.

The tonnage of home air conditioners ranges from one ton to five ton. If your home cooling needs exceed five tons, then it’s important to install several units.
In simple terms, the higher the tonnage of the air conditioner, the more cooling power it has.

Getting the Right Size
It’s important to install the right size of an air conditioner in your home as AC units that are the wrong size will either compromise your comfort at home or cause energy bills to skyrocket.

An important point to keep in mind is that with air conditioning installation, bigger conditioners doesn’t translate to larger output. It is important to have an air conditioner that’s of appropriate size since having a unit that’s too small will fail to keep up with the requirements of your home especially on a hot day while a unit that’s too large will keep on cycling off and on too frequently leading to a poor job of dehumidifying the air. In fact, it’s better to undersize an air conditioner than to oversize it.


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A properly sized air conditioning system will keep your home cool and comfortable and run as per energy efficient cooling cycles. This means that properly sized air conditioners will use energy more effectively and keep your home at comfortable conditions all the time. To determine the right size of air conditioner for your home, you need to do some heat load calculations. A heat load calculation helps you figure out your home cooling needs. It takes into account the following factors:

– Number and size of windows
– Height of your ceilings
– Type of roof
– Number of levels in your home
– Direction of your home

All these considerations must be taken into consideration when selecting an air conditioning unit. When it comes to choosing an air conditioning unit, you are only interested in one thing; keeping your home cool and comfortable when the weather gets hot. Don’t be tempted to choose the biggest air conditioning unit available. Instead, opt for the appropriate size suited for your home.

The best option would be to get a professional to do the calculations for you. Most calculations methods presented online only give estimates and this can result to either overestimating or underestimating. Air conditioning experts know what they’re doing and what to consider; they have specialized software to help them perform accurate calculations. Therefore, look for professionals when determining the size of the air conditioning unit for your home.

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