What Size Air Conditioner for a Small vs Big House?

What Size Air Conditioner for a Small vs Big House?

People generally tend to forget about the size of their house while purchasing an air conditioner. At the same time, some simply rely on the specific room or purpose they are going to use the air conditioner for. While the process might seem quite simple to you, but it is definitely not. You would think that the more powerful the air conditioner is, the better it will be for you.

However, that is definitely not the case. Not only will you be paying more than required for the air conditioner with higher capacity but it will also cost you more in the long term. The additional energy consumption will lead to an increase in your energy bills. Moreover, you will risk having a clammy feel to your house.

On the other hand, if you opt for an air conditioner smaller in size in accordance with your house requirements, that is bound to create issues as well. Surprisingly enough, you will end up paying high electricity bills in this case as well as the air conditioner will take longer and more effort to sufficiently cool the space down. You basically require the perfect size of an air conditioner with enough power to cool the space and maintain the right amount of humidity levels.

How to Choose the Right Size?

The process of choosing the perfect central air conditioning system for your house’s heating ventilation and air conditioning system can be rather complicated. You have to factor in quite a few contributors such as the home’s cooling which will directly affect the general efficiency, quality, and overall cost of the air conditioner. Other factors such as installation requirements, size of your house, and efficiency of the brand are to be considered as well.

Why Does the Size Matter?

You cannot imagine setting up the home cooling system without having the absolute correct size of the air conditioner. You have the option of consulting with an Energy Management Consultant as well. However, following factors are to be considered either way:

  • Volume of your living space. Keep in mind this is not limited to the square footage.
  • Total area of the exterior walls that are exposed to the sun.
  • The condition, age, orientation, and number of windows in the house.
  • The total amount of sunshine received by your house.
  • The construction age of your home.
  • Ductwork and any pre-existent ventilation systems. Moreover, their state and functionality are to be checked as well.
  • Amount of shade received by the house from any shrubs and trees.

It is highly important for the air conditioner to be sizedin accordance with the house size in order to perform optimally in a full cycle whilst keeping the home cool. With an over-sized air conditioning system, you are likely to suffer from an over-cool,and it will be shut off quite quickly.

However, the structures such as wood, furniture, and walls, etc. will not receive adequate cooling. This will make room for humidity and heat to creep in again leading to the repeated power on and power off cycle. As a result, an over-sized system tend to last for shorter periods of time,and this is bound to cost you a lot.

Similarly, in the case of an undersized air conditioning system, your house will not be effectively cool. This will cause the air conditioner to operate continuously, leading to waste of energy and money.

Understanding Air ConditionerSize

The air conditioners are sizedin terms of their cooling capacity in tons. For instance, one ton of cooling amounts to around 12,000 British thermal units (BTU) per hour. Generally speaking, residential units tend to be either 2-ton or large sized 3-ton units. Keep in mind that the size of the air conditioner does not determine its efficiency which is measured in SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio).

Once the right size of theair conditioneris determined for your home, you will have to then consider the perfect SEER rating that lands within your budget. You’re supposed to look for higher ratings which would result in reduced energy consumption. You should prefer air conditioners that are Energy Star qualified, having SEER ratio between 12 and 23.

However, if you don’t understand the system or simply don’t want to risk relying on your personal calculations,then you can most definitely take a professional’s help. Not only will they be able to figure out the right size for your house but also the most efficient unit for your needs and within your budget.

Calculating the Size

While you most certainly are not required to fully grasp the science behind the sizing, but you should understand the relationship between the air conditioning capacity and the area of your house. It will not require a lot of math,and you will be able to save up on that consultation fee as well.

For starters, you are required to determine the area of your living space. You can do this by multiplying the length of the rooms by their width. In the case of oddly-shaped spaces, you can finally make use of those geometry basics you learned in high school. Once you have the final area determined, you need to multiply that figure by 25 BTUs. The finalfigure will be the capacity needed by your house.

If you’re looking for a room air conditioner, the rules remain the same. You don’t have to worry about getting the exact figure as a rough estimate will help you effectively choose the right unit. Additionally, factor in the following as well:

  • In the case of a lot of shade, reduce the total BTU capacity by ten percent. On the contrary, in the case of a lot of sunlight, increase the BTU capacity by the same percentage. Keep in mind the different seasons of your locality as well.
  • Experts suggest that you should add at least 4,000 BTU capacity to your final total because of the kitchen and the heat that it produces regularly.
  • If the rooms are occupied more than two persons and that too, on a regular basis then you’re supposed to add 600 BTU per every additional individual.

Finally, make sure to factor in any future changes you might have in mind such as large windows, additional rooms, and additional skylights,etc. These will impact your final air conditioning needs. You can make use of an online calculator as well in order to determine the perfect size for your house.

If all else fails, you will most definitely have help at the local appliance store. They have years of experience in the particular field,and you will not be charged for this additional help.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have all the information necessary for determining the perfect air conditioner size for your house, the process should be quite simple. Keep in mind all the factors mentioned and the cautionary measures, in order for you to avoid wasting money on such a hefty investment. Do not forget your future plans in the process of calculating the current situation.

By following through with these instructions to the dot, you can very well determine the right unit for your specific needs and budget. Moreover, there is absolutely no harm in consulting a professional if your budget allows you to do so.