It is important to consider more than just the brand and warranty when choosing an HVAC unit for your home. One of the first questions you should ask an American Standard Customer Care is- What size AC do I need? If you’re trying to choose the right air conditioner for your home, it’s important to understand how size will affect comfort. You might think that a bigger AC unit would be better, but that’s not always the case.
Why HVAC size Matters
If your air conditioner is the right size for your home, it will work much more efficiently. However, if it is too large or too small, you may find yourself battling an uncomfortable indoor climate and higher energy costs.
AC too small
If you purchase an AC that’s too small for your home, the unit will have to run constantly in order to try and maintain a cool temperature indoors. Additionally, you could end up experiencing uneven cooling throughout your home.
AC too large
If you purchase an AC system that’s too large for your home, it can cause the unit to constantly turn on and off. The unit will turn on then quickly lower the indoor temperature, and then shut down. Repeating that cycle many times throughout the day causes advanced wear and tear on your AC unit. In addition, it will take longer to cool your home down, and you will have to wait longer before you can use it again.
Step 1- Air conditioner types that best fit for your home
There are three primary types of air conditioners, all of which use a similar method of cooling. Your home likely has one of the following systems: ductless air conditioning, packaged air conditioning, or split-system air conditioning.
The most prevalent HVAC unit is the split-system air conditioner. This system has an outdoor and indoor unit that work in unison to regulate the temperature and humidity in your home.There are a lot of different options that you can choose from with this type of AC unit. If you partner with an American Standard Customer Care dealer, they can help you to select a split-system AC based on factors like the energy-efficiency that you want, the noise level that you’re comfortable with, and your budget.
A packaged air conditioner system is a single outdoor unit. All the parts necessary for the system to function, such as the evaporator coil, compressor, and condensing coil, are included in the unit. The packaged system is designed to use your home’s existing ductwork to cool the appropriate spaces. You can select a single-stage or two-stage system, depending on your needs and how energy-efficient you want the unit to be.
Step 2- Review ratings for the HVAC size you need
After you’ve determined which type of AC is best for your home, research the energy efficiency and cooling capacity of the style you prefer. ACs are usually rated based on these factors. As you set out to answer “what size AC unit do I need?”it is a good idea to be familiar with how these two parts of the cooling rating are represented and the types of cooling capacity represented by each thermal rating. Typically it refers to the system’s energy efficiency as defined by the SEER or cooling capacity which is measured in BTUh/hr. The SEER is often associated with the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) or cooling capacity usually measured in BTuh/sq ft.
SEER ratings simplified
To develop a SEER ratio, or rating, the total energy used by a unit is divided by the cooling output of that unit. When less cooling is used, a higher SEER ratio is earned. Keep in mind that the SEER is the maximum efficiency of a unit of a unit, so a SEER rating of 14 or 16 is typically found with a model with a manual cooling cycle, followed by the first phase of the compression cooling cycle. Heating and air conditioning units offer up to 22 SEER. Most higher SEER units in the United States have two-stage or variable cooling stages.
What is BTUh rating?
The BTUh rating speaks to how much energy your home HVAC or air conditioner uses to remove heat from your home within one hour. The result is referred to in terms of BTOh (or BTUH) or tonnage. In the case of air conditioners for your home, air conditioners for your home have a tonnage rating. Those ratings fall within 0 to 5 tons, and create a scale of 0 to 5,000. For example, if you were to consider a home with a 2,000 square foot area, you would probably prefer to choose a 3,000 or 4,000 BTUH air conditioner. It is important to note that not all air conditioners have a BTUH rating.
Step 3- Estimate the right size AC for your house
How your desired AC unit is rated: consider the following additional elements to determine the size of your available HVAC units. The only way you can be sure of the best heating and cooling system for your home is to take the time to contact an American Standard Customer Care. Our independent dealers can help you test the effectiveness of your heating system on a massive scale based on more than square footage. Each of these characteristics should be considered to ensure you choose the right size AC:
Quality of home insulation
Quality of ductwork
Amount of direct sun exposure
Number of people who live in the home
Usage of heat-generating appliances
Geographic climate and average temperatures
Quality and number of windows and exterior doors
Home construction materials (i.e., brick, wood, etc.)
Home features that modify indoor temperature (i.e., fireplace, sunroom, etc.)
Step 4- Request an energy audit and Manual J calculation
Using an energy audit, it’s possible to conduct a Manual J calculation to see how you save energy when you’re not running a furnace that’s needed for heating or air conditioning. The manual J calculation takes into account the home and environmental characteristics listed above, giving you a very accurate idea of the AC size you need for your home.
Step 5- Match your square footage to an HVAC size chart
While a professionally trained Best American heating and cooling specialist determine the proper size air conditioner for you home, this chart can begin to give you an idea based on your home’s size.
|Home Sq Footage||Air Conditioner Size (tons)|
|600 – 1,000 square feet||1.5 tons|
|1,000 – 1,500 square feet||2 tons|
|1,500 – 2,000 square feet||3 tons|
|2,000 – 2,500 square feet||4 tons|
|2,500 – 3,300 square feet||5 tons|
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