How to Choose the Right Size AC Unit

Posted May 4, 2018

When shopping for a new air conditioning system it is supremely easy to start feeling overwhelmed pretty much immediately. The sheer number of options, all of the variables at play—and don’t even get us started on the kinds of sales tactics you might encounter! It’s enough to put anyone off. But the team at ABC Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, Cooling and Electric is here to tell you that it doesn’t need to be that hard! With the right set of information, even a beginner can be confident in shopping for a new AC replacement, and today we’re going to give you a hand by talking about one of the most important factors: how to find the right size cooling system. Need help finding the ideal cooling system for your home? Call on the Carrier Factory Authorized professionals at ABC online today! 

Why Does Air Conditioner Size Matter?

So does the size of an air conditioner actually play that big of a role in your decision? It really, really does! An incorrectly sized system is a massive issue, and one that typically results in the homeowner needing an immediate replacement. This is because an incorrectly sized system will not cool your home effectively, whether it’s too big or too small. An undersized unit simply lacks the oomph to get the job done, resulting in the unit running at all hours and never really cooling enough, which can hike your bills in a hurry. A system that is too large has a similar issue, but it’s because it’ll kick on, blast your home with cold air, and then kick back off—a process called “short cycling—because the thermostat reads the home as cool enough before the cooler air has actually permeated your home effectively.

What the Industry Means By “Size”

It’s also important to note that when a contractor says size, they aren’t literally talking about the size of the air conditioning unit. Typically the easiest term that determines the size of a system is the word “tonnage,” though this term isn’t referring to actual weight. In HVAC terms, a ton refers to the unit’s ability to cool 12,0000 BTUs in a single hour. For example, a somewhat standard 2.5 tonne cooling unit will cool 30,000 BTUs per hour. This tonnage is measured against the exact square footage of your home in order to find your specific cooling needs, and thus you can fairly quickly pick the right size unit, resulting in a unit that gets the job done right, and one that will get the job done most efficiently, too.

The Importance of Professional Air Conditioner Installation

Keep in mind that while this is handy information, and it helps you to be a more informed consumer, it is not an exhaustive guide to picking and installing the right air conditioner! Picking the right system means understanding tonnage, BTUs (which basically equate to cooling output), Manual J calculations, and air pressure. It’s not a layman's job, and if you want the best possible results, you want to work with an expert who can perform the task properly. Luckily for you, you’re already in the right place to find exactly that!  Do you have more questions about air conditioner maintenance in Chicago? Contact our NATE-certified specialists at ABC by calling 888 868-6667. Live in Florida? Call our experienced AC repair and replacement specialist at 813 452-5952. We are always ready to give you the answers you need to enjoy the comfort you deserve!

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