How to Choose the Right Size Air Conditioner For Your Home

a couple choosing their new AC unit

For an air conditioner to work efficiently and effectively, it must be sized to fit the specific needs of your home. Improper sizing can result in a number of problems with your AC – from high electric bills and excess humidity to a general inability to keep your home comfortable. So, when installing a new air conditioner in your home, it’s important to make sure it’s neither too big nor too small. Learn how to make sure your new AC is the perfect fit.

How Is AC Size Measured?

The size of an air conditioner is not determined by its actual weight or square footage, but by its cooling capacity. An AC unit’s cooling capacity is its ability to remove heat from an enclosed space. This is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour. To determine how many BTUs per hour your air conditioner should be able to remove, you must know the square footage of your home. You can calculate this by measuring each room in your home with a measuring tape, but it’s probably easier to look at a property tax statement. Be sure not to include any areas that won’t need to be cooled.

The U.S. Department of Energy offers guidelines for how many BTUs are necessary for different square footages. Here are a few examples:

300 to 550 sq. feet – 8,000 to 12,000 BTUs

550 to 1,000 sq. feet – 14,000 to 18,000 BTUs

1,000 to 1,200 sq. feet – 21,000 to 24,000 BTUs

1,500 to 2,000 sq. feet – 30,000 BTUs

2,000 to 2,5000 sq. feet – 34,000 BTUs

What Happens If My AC Is Too Big?

An AC unit that is too big, it will cool your home too quickly. While this may sound like a good thing, it actually comes with several negative side effects. If your AC’s cooling capacity is more than your home requires, it will start and stop frequently throughout the day, consuming more energy. Your AC is also responsible for removing humidity, so if it cools your space too quickly, it will shut off once it reaches the set desired temperature and there will be excess humidity in your home.

What Happens If My AC Is Too Small?

The downside of an undersized AC is pretty obvious. If your air conditioner does not have the cooling capacity your home needs, achieving a comfortable temperature will be a challenge.

Make Sure Your AC Is the Perfect Fit!

You wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes that were too big or too small, would you? So why would you buy an oversized or undersized AC? At One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Largo, our experienced technicians know how important it is to make sure your AC is the right size from the very beginning. Give us a call at (727) 245-0378 to learn about our quality installations, or schedule an appointment online today!