How to Determine the Type of AC Unit Best for Your Home

When it comes to cooling your home, it's important to choose the right size unit for optimal efficiency. Most people are concerned about heating their homes as winter approaches, but it's also a great time to get a jump on thinking about the type of AC unit you want come spring. By doing your research now, you're already ahead of the game. Let a professional HVAC company assist you in determining the right size of AC system that will efficiently and effectively keep you and your family comfortable in the summer. Proper AC installation is a must.
Why Size Matters
Keep in mind that the wrong size air conditioner won't deliver the efficiency you need to stay comfortable and keep rising utility bills at bay. Too big and you're using up unnecessary electricity, resulting in high amounts of humidity. The unit will cycle on and off too frequently, eating up precious energy and jacking up your bill. Too small and your home won't be able to achieve that level of comfort you need in the sweltering months. So how can you go about making sure you select the right size AC unit for your house? A variety of factors come into play such as:
•Climate and average summer temperatures in your area
•Square footage of the room or home
•Installation location
•Number of people in the home
•Sun exposure and shade cover
All air conditioners come with a SEER rating, which stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, with capacity expressed in British thermal units (BTUs). This BTU number shows how quickly and effectively the unit can cool down a room. Most residential air conditioners range between 5,000 BTUs to more than 30,000 BTUs.
Steps to Select AC Size
1. Get a home energy audit. This is optional of course but it is a great way to determine the quality of your insulation and air sealing and whether or not your ductwork has any leaks. Learn more at Mass Save.
2. Measure the square footage of each room in the home. For square and rectangular rooms, multiply the length of the area by its width; for a triangular area, multiply the length of the area by the width and divide by 2, recommends Energy Star. Check the Energy Star table to determine how many BTUs you will need. For instance, to cool 500 square feet, you'll need 14,000 BTUs. To cool 20,000 square feet, you'll need 34,000 BTUs. Obviously, if you're cooling an entire home with central air, you'll need more BTUs than a simple room AC.
3. Make adjustments. There are some considerations to factor into your measurements. Got a heavily shaded room or rooms? Take off 10 percent capacity. On the other side of the token, if one or more rooms gets a lot of sun, increase by 10 percent. Add 600 BTUs for each person using the room.
4. Look at your existing unit. If you are looking to replace your existing central AC unit, look at the SEER rating and BTUs on the label, which will give you a good starting point for the size you'll need.
5. Call TDI Air for expert assistance in determining the best size AC for your home. We are experts in AC installation, service, maintenance and tune-ups, with plenty of appointments to choose from.