Cooling, Heating, & Electrical Services in Melbourne
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What Size AC Should I Get For My Home?

What size AC you should get for your home can be surprisingly complicated. A big house doesn’t automatically mean a big, powerful air conditioning unit nor does a little house necessarily mean a skimpy window unit. The good news is our professionals at Extreme Air & Electric can help you figure out the very best air conditioner for your home.

About Btuhs

What ultimately determines the right sized air conditioner for your home is Btuhs or British thermal unit hours. A BTU is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit. The size of your AC is determined by how many Btus it can deliver in an hour.

An HVAC professional calculates your home’s Btus by its heat gains. This is how much heat the house absorbs from its roof, windows, doors, exterior walls, how many days per year it's exposed to full sun and the latitude of your property. The professional also needs to find the hot and cold spots inside your house, count your appliances and other devices that give off heat and know how many people live in the house.

After the professional has determined the heat gains of your house, they’ll then check your furnace and ductwork to see if it can handle the cooler air, which is heavier than hot air. If you’re getting a new system, you might also be interested in getting an air cleaner or a humidifier for the whole house as well as a zoned system. This system cools only the rooms where people actually are and can save on energy bills. Other central air conditioning systems come with variable speed condensing units.

Buying Your AC

When it comes to actually buying a central air conditioning system, you might be surprised by the variations in prices, even for systems that have the same Btu capacities. The price differences depend on the quality of the system, energy efficiencies and how long warranties last.

You might still want to opt out of a central AC system and go for room air conditioning units. Central AC is more efficient than having individual units in every room, but buying and installing room units is much less expensive up front. There are ways to install a room unit to allow it to cool down more than one room, and calculating how many Btuhs you’ll need is far less complicated than with a central unit. For example, a room that’s 450 to 520 square feet needs a unit with a capacity of about 10,000 Btuhs. You should also compare the EER, or energy efficiency ratings of different units. The higher the EER, the more efficient it is. Units with high EERs also tend to be more sophisticated, with timers and other bells and whistles. Unfortunately, this makes them more expensive as well.

Installing window units can be a DIY project, but they’re heavy and unwieldy, so let one of our professionals help you with the installation.

What Happens If the House Has the Wrong AC?

A house whose central AC is insufficient for its needs just can't keep the house cool enough. Some HVAC professionals think that a system that’s too powerful is even worse. They waste energy and cycle on and off. Because the AC is supposed to regulate the house's humidity, a too powerful unit can leave the air feeling clammy.

Call Us For More Information About Your AC

If you’re wondering what type of AC to install and how powerful it needs to be, don’t hesitate to call one of our technicians for assistance. Our number at Extreme Air & Electric is 321.320.8012.