What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need For My Home?

What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?The process of choosing a new central air conditioner for your house can be difficult if you’re unfamiliar with the latest models, features, and specifications available. Variables such as the size of your home and total budget will dictate the type of air conditioner you purchase.

Prior to purchasing a new system, you will be required to determine a proper size for your new air conditioner. So, what size air conditioner do I need for my enclosure? Follow our tips and guidelines below to ensure your utility bills are manageable.

How Do I Choose an Air Conditioner Size?

The size of an air conditioner that you need for your home does not refer to the physical size of the outdoor unit. Instead, the size of a system is defined by it’s cooling capacity in a home. If you’re searching for a new air conditioner, you will need to become familiar with two key performance indicators, tonnage and British Thermal Units (BTU’s). British Thermal Units (BTU’s) is a metric that is designed to measure heat energy in a home. On the other hand, tonnage is a metric utilized by professionals to gauge the total amount of heat an air conditioner is able to eliminate in one hour.

For example, an air conditioner that is rated at 1 ton is able to eliminate a total of 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTU’s) each hour. While you are trying to figure out what size air conditioner you need, you may notice models for sale that are listed with either British Thermal Units (BTU’s) or tonnage ratings. An average bedroom that is around 300 square feet in a house will require about 6,000 British Thermal Units (BTU’s). On the other hand, a standard living room that is about 600 square feet will need around 12,500 British Thermal Units (BTU’s).

An average central air conditioner for homes features between 20,000 to 50,000 British Thermal Units (BTU’s). If you have a house with a large square footage rating, we recommend purchasing an air conditioner with a higher amount British Thermal Units (BTU’s).

Oversized Air Conditioners

A common misconception among buyers is that an oversized air conditioner will additional cold air throughout the home. You do not need an oversized air conditioner for your enclosure. In fact, choosing an air conditioner that is too powerful will negatively impact the airflow, temperature, and comfort of your house. Since the air conditioning system is too large, it will rapidly activate and deactivate throughout the day to accommodate the programmed temperature on the thermostat. Additionally, an oversized central air conditioner will not be able to sufficiently remove the warm air and humidity from the home. 

Undersized Air Conditioners

On the other hand, an undersized air conditioner will not be able to supply an adequate amount of cold air to the home. As a result, an undersized system will be forced to run continuously throughout the day to keep the home comfortable. This non-stop operational cycle will cause your utility bills to increase. To save money and resources, it is essential to size your new air conditioner correctly.

Air Conditioners Are Engineered to Remove Heat

Air conditioners do not generate cold air, they remove heat. To determine what size air conditioner you need, a certified technician will perform a load calculation in your home so they know the cooling load necessary for the new air conditioner. The load calculation takes into account heat from lights and appliances, radiant heat through windows, home insulation, and the amount of people on average in the home.

Our Technicians Will Help You Choose an Air Conditioner Size

If you’re confused on what size ac unit you need for your home, give us a call by phone at (484) 474-5373 or schedule an appointment online. WM Henderson provides trustworthy air conditioning repair, tune-up, and installation services to homes in areas of Pennsylvania such as Coatesville, West Chester, Conshohocken, and Broomall. Our team will travel to your home to provide a no-obligation estimate on a new air conditioner system that meets your needs. 

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