How Do You Size an Air Conditioning System?

Professional air conditioning technicians may refer to “sizing” an air conditioner before installing a new unit. This refers to the power levels or the new system rather than the physical size of the air conditioner. Sizing is extremely important in Huntsville, TX, with our summer heat waves and regular need for a reliable AC system. If the system is too powerful, it will short cycle – turning on and off rapidly throughout the day and wasting a considerable amount of energy (as well as creating wear and tear on the unit). If it isn’t powerful enough, it’s not going to cool your home adequately, and will similarly create wear and tear and higher energy bills as it runs all day and night.

Sizing an air conditioning system takes professional knowledge, but here’s a few specifics to give you some idea what’s involved in the process.

  • Square Footage. Square footage is the first basic step, and can give you a rough idea of the size of the AC unit. It’s usually about 12,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) per hour for every 500 square feet of space, though you may need more to account for areas like the kitchen that require more cooling power.
  • Insulation. Insulation in your walls will keep the hot air outside in the summer just as readily as it keeps warm air inside in the winter. A lot of insulation means a smaller AC unit.
  • Sunlight Exposure. Sunlight streaming in from large windows can add to the heat in your home, especially if they have an eastern or western view.
  • Cracks and crevices. Cracks under your doors or along the edges of your windows can leach out cool air. You can address these with a few simple steps, or simple purchase an air conditioner with more power to account for it.

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, call Ardon Maintenance today!



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