How to Choose the Right Size for an AC Unit?

When you are in the process of getting a new AC unit for a fresh installation or a replacement, size is one of the key factors to consider. It is critically important to purchase a unit that is sized right for the space you intend to cool. An AC unit that is too large or too small for your home can lead to a whole host of problems.

Problems Caused by a Smaller AC Unit

If the AC unit you purchase is too small, it will not be able to comfortably cool the interior. As a result, you may experience uncomfortable summers even when the air conditioner is running at its full. Another downside to an undersized unit is that it consumes more energy. This is because the unit has to run for longer hours in order to achieve the temperature that you set on the thermostat.

If the unit is too small for a given space, it will not be able to reach the thermostat temperature at all. As a result, it will keep running continuously. Not only does this result in more energy usage and higher bills, but it also causes your AC to deteriorate sooner.

Problems Caused by an Oversized AC Unit

Just like an undersized AC unit, an oversized unit comes with its own set of problems. An oversized unit costs you more, so you have to dish out more money upfront. For a space that is not large enough, an oversized unit also suffers short-cycling. This results in indoors that are cool but not dry enough so that you may still experience significant humidity. This happens when the unit reaches the thermostat temperature too quickly. As a result, the unit experiences on-and-off behavior too rapidly which can make the unit suffer damage or otherwise deteriorate far more quickly.

Finding the Right Size

Given the reasons noted above, it is important to find an AC unit that is just right for your home. In doing so, you will need to consider a number of key factors. These include:

  • BTU: BTU is short for British thermal unit. BTUs are a standard unit used to calculate the cooling capacity of an AC unit. As a general rule-of-thumb, 20 BTUs of AC power is needed to cool 1 square foot of living space. Applying this formula, you need 2000 BTUs for a 100 square feet space, 5000 BTUs for a 500 square feet space, and so on. BTUs typically apply to window units and not to central air conditioning systems.
  • Tonnage: When it comes to central AC units, you will see cooling capacities listed in tons. 1 ton is equal to 12,000 BTUs of cooling power. To find the right size of the central AC unit, simply calculate the total area you want to cool, calculate the BTUs using the formula provided above, and then convert the BTUs into tons.
  • Local Climate: The measurements provided above are an average estimate. This means that you will need to take into account other factors like local climate when using these measurements. For instance, the summers in Greenville, SC are typically hot and muggy. So you may want to go a bit above the calculated BTUs or tonnage instead of going under when choosing a unit.
  • Landscape: The number of trees, plants, and greenery close to your home also plays a role in determining the temperature of your home’s indoors. If there are a lot of trees around, you may be able to make do with standard measurements. If the outdoor landscape lacks greenery and gets a lot of direct sun, you may need a larger-than-average unit.
  • Insulation: The overall insulation and air-tightness of your home must be factored in when determining what AC unit size will be right for you. If you have good insulation and properly sealed windows during the summers, the average unit size may work for you. However, if the insulation is poor and the home’s structure is not properly air-sealed, a sizable amount of the AC’s cooling will be lost so that you may experience poor cooling with an average-sized unit.

Reliable Contractors for Air Conditioning in Greenville, SC

If you are looking for experienced, qualified, and reliable contractors for air conditioning services in Greenville, SC, we have got you covered. Here at General Air, we offer a comprehensive range of AC installation, repair, replacement, and maintenance services. We deal in AC units of all types and sizes. We can also help you choose the right size of AC units for your residential or commercial property in Greenville. Call us today to get free estimates and advice.

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