Sizing Your New AC

When we talk about “sizing” your new AC, we’re not referring to the physical dimensions of the unit; rather, we’re talking about cooling ability. You want an air conditioner that will be able to cool your home adequately, but you don’t want it to cycle on and off too frequently, or not turn on when it needs to. Each unit is measured in tons, and a 1-ton unit can generate approximately 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of cooling in one hour. You’ll need to know the square footage of your home in order to determine how many tons your new AC unit needs to be.

Calculating Your Cooling Needs

Most residential air conditioners range from 1-ton to 5-ton models, and anything over 5 tons falls into the realm of commercial air conditioners, which will be too large and unnecessary for your home. Once you know the square footage of your home, you can take that number and multiply it by 25. Let’s say that your home is 2,500 square feet:

  • 2,500 x 25 = 62,500

You would then take that number and divide it by 12,000 (which is the number of BTUs that a 1-ton system can generate in an hour):

  • 62,500/12,000 = 5.20

By subtracting 0.5 from this final number, you can find how many tons your system needs to be:

  • 5.20 – 0.5 = 4.70

Now you know you need a system that’s between four and five tons. Our team can recommend the best model based on your needs and preferences, and we will make sure that your system is properly sized before we install it.

Too Small or Too Large

When an AC unit is undersized, or too small, for your home, it may struggle to keep up with your cooling demands. If you set the temperature at 72 degrees, then your system is going to run until the interior temperature is 72 degrees. However, since the system can’t supply enough cool air to bring the temperature down, it will run continuously, which will drive your energy costs up and reduce the lifespan of the system. This can put quite the strain on your bank account, not to mention the fact that your home won’t be at the desired temperature.

When an AC unit is too large, it will cycle on and off constantly, since it only needs to run for a short while to cool your home. Once the desired temperature has been reached, the system will shut off, only to turn on again when the interior temperature rises. These short bursts can take their toll on your cooling system, which can mean you’ll be repairing the AC unit more often than you would like.

At G&R, we can help you size your new AC unit, and we’ll take care of the entire installation process. Before long, you’ll be enjoying a cool and comfortable home, and you won’t have to worry about higher energy bills or an inefficient cooling system.