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What is the Proper Air Conditioner Size for My Home?

What is the Proper Air Conditioner Size for My Home?Is your house overly warm even though the AC is on? The problem might lie within the size of your air conditioning system. We’ve found that many homeowners don’t realize the importance that size plays in their air conditioner’s efficiency.

Why does the size of an air conditioner matter?

You would probably agree that you want all of your home’s systems and appliances to function well for as long as possible. For an air conditioner to reach its maximum lifespan, it must be the right size for the area it is cooling. Otherwise, it will likely end up overworking itself (or underworking itself) and burning out early.

There are only three possible options regarding an air conditioner’s sizing: too small, too big, or just right.

What happens when an air conditioner is too small?

An air conditioner that is too small for its assigned space will do a poor job cooling the house. However, it will also overwork itself in an attempt to do a better job. By running continuously, it will waste energy, cost money, and die quickly.

What happens when an air conditioner is too big?

An air conditioner that is too big will cool the air too quickly. Having done its job, it will shut off before the building structure (walls and frames) have cooled. Warm air slips back in through the structure, causing the AC to switch back on. The cycle repeats, once again costing you extra money.

How do you choose the proper air conditioner size for your home?

Air conditioners are labeled with BTUs (British Thermal Units). Consult the following chart to see where your square footage lands in relation to the number of BTUs.

Air Conditioner Sizing Chart

The BTU Chart can provide you with a general reference, but to get a properly sized unit, the Manual J Load Calculation should be used. This calculation is the universal AC size calculation used by HVAC technicians. It takes into consideration every one of the aforementioned factors and determines the exact heating and cooling elements required for your home specifically. It is an extremely important aspect in the sizing process.

A professional can help you choose the right size air conditioner using the Manual J Load Calculation, which evaluates the following factors:

  • House size
  • Number of windows
  • Insulation
  • Ceiling height
  • Exterior climate
  • Roof type
  • Heat transfer of walls
  • Basement

Keep in mind that investing in a properly-sized air conditioner will positively impact your home comfort, quality, and long-term expenses.

If you have any further questions, or if you would like to have your air conditioner sizing inspected, contact Indoor Air Quality today. We serve homeowners in Highlands Ranch and throughout the Denver Metro Area. Our highest priority is the comfort of your home.

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