How to Pick the Right Sized Air Conditioning Unit

How to Pick the Right Sized Air Conditioning Unit

Nobody likes the challenge and costs of replacing an air conditioning system, but it’s a chore that can be made much easier if you understand the process. With 90 percent of new homes using central air, this is a task you’ll undoubtedly have to make a few times as a homeowner. It’s also a process that’s greatly eased with assistance from a qualified Denver heating and air conditional profession.

How it works

The size of an air conditioning system is measured in British thermal units per hour or “tons.” Bigger isn’t necessarily better either. Why? Because an air conditioner removes both heat and humidity from a room. If an AC unit is too big, the room will hit its intended temperature before the humidity is removed, leaving a cooler but clammy feeling in the air. Alternatively, a unit that’s too small will be forced to work extra hard to cool a space, which will unnecessarily raise energy costs.

Measure your room

The key to determining the size is measuring the size of the space to be cooled. Multiply the width times the length to arrive at the square footage. For rooms with unusual shapes, this can be a challenge, so it’s highly recommended you use an air conditioning professional or specialist to be sure it’s done correctly. Once you have the total square footage, a homeowner or AC specialist can match it up against the right BTUs (or tons) per hour.

The Manual J calculation

Does the process so far seem too simple? Perhaps, but that’s only because it’s a guideline to give you a general impression. To truly arrive at a much better measure, a qualified air conditioning professional can be hired to provide a “Manual J” calculation. This involves consideration of the home’s insulation, window quality, any detectable air leakage around the home along with the home’s exterior envelope.

The SEER ratio

While consumers might focus on the initial cost of a new air conditioning system, an AC pro can often provide the expected cost savings that will add up over the years. That’s where the SEER rating comes in. SEER – or Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio – identifies how much energy an AC unit is expected to use. The higher a SEER rating, the more efficient the unit.

The final decision

Tempting as it is to look for just a “great deal” with a new Denver heating and air conditioning system, it’s more important in the long run to find the right size. A respected professional – consulted to determine your home’s sizing requirements – will be able to show a homeowner the cost savings in any new unit, allowing season after season of wonderfully cooled homes.


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