Buying a new AC for your home might seem simple, but there are many factors to think about. You might wonder, “What size AC unit do I need?” Sometimes the answer isn’t straightforward. You’ll need details like your home’s size, insulation condition and where you live for an accurate calculation.
Our team of professionals at Acme Air Conditioning & Heating would like to share some tips so you can confidently pick the right size for your new AC.
An HVAC is a complex system of parts that work together to make your indoor life comfortable. If parts of the system are the wrong size, the whole system can fail. The size of the unit is crucial for the system’s efficiency, affecting your home and your wallet.
Some people might be tempted to save money by choosing a smaller model, but that’s a mistake. If your AC is too small, it will struggle to cool your home, leading to wear and tear and higher bills.
Having an AC that’s too large is a problem too. It cools too quickly, turning on and off in short cycles. This wears down your AC, raises your bills and causes discomfort.
A well-maintained unit that’s the right size will efficiently cool your home, preventing early breakdowns and keeping you comfortable without wasting energy.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a Manual J calculation by a professional to find the right AC size. It takes a few factors into account with square feet being the important one.
Your home’s size is crucial and one of the main factors to consider. Common AC sizes for different square footage are provided. As you can see, approximately every 500 feet is equal to 1 ton.
Approximately every 500 feet is equal to 1 ton, so you can easily figure out that a 3-ton AC seems like a reasonable size for a 2000 square foot house.
While a math calculation based on your home’s square feet can give you a general idea, consider the other factors before investing in a new AC.
Warmer and more humid climates require higher tonnage for an air conditioner to effectively cool homes, so given the heat of the weather in Texas, your home may need a larger system!
The layout of your home, including the number of stories and ceiling height, influences the distribution of heat. Two-story homes and those with high vaulted ceilings may experience the stack effect, retaining heat in the upper levels. High ceilings present challenges in cooling as there is more space for air circulation putting more demand on your unit.
Choosing appropriately sized ducts is vital for the efficiency of ducted AC units as older or poorly maintained ducts are less efficient, impacting the overall performance of your HVAC system.
Insufficiently sized ducts can lead to inadequate cooling, prompting the cooling unit to run longer than necessary. Professional air conditioning services like consulting with a member from Acme Air Conditioning & Heating can help determine the condition of your ducts.
The size and efficiency of your windows are important when determining the size of the AC unit needed. Poorly sealed windows increase the strain on your HVAC system.
The location of your home relative to the sun affects the workload of your AC unit. More shade makes it easier for your HVAC system to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors.
Effective insulation is crucial for the efficient operation of your AC unit and lower utility bills. It also helps counteract the stack effect, helping your cooling system maintain a comfortable interior temperature. In homes with inadequate insulation, leaks or ventilation issues, consideration for an air conditioner with more tonnage may be necessary.
Body heat contributes to the Manual J calculation. A higher number of people in your home means more heat production, requiring your system to work harder to cool the space.
You may not have considered this, but the color and material of your home may impact the ideal size of your air conditioner. Dark colors and heat-absorbing materials like brick may necessitate a larger AC unit, while light colors and well-insulated materials like vinyl siding may allow for a smaller unit.
Rooms with appliances like stoves and refrigerators generate heat, requiring more energy for cooling. If you’re selecting a window unit for spaces with such appliances, it’s advisable to opt for a slightly larger one.
Poor energy efficiency may require multiplying square footage by 25 BTU to account for energy loss. An energy audit can identify and address leaks in windows, doors and the foundation, reducing the strain on your AC unit.
The process of selecting a new air conditioner for your home involves careful consideration of multiple factors. If you’re still trying to decide on the right size, our team at Acme Air Conditioning & Heating would be glad to give you some advice!
By seeking expert guidance, you can make informed decisions, ensuring optimal comfort and efficiency in your cooling system. Reach out to us today to schedule your next appointment for our air conditioning services!