Why Air Conditioner Size Matters

Published on: June 24, 2017
Family tossing a salad | AC Southeast®

When it comes to air conditioners, size matters. Unfortunately, an AC that’s too big or too small can make our customers in the Southeast suffer. Here’s what you need to know to buy a properly sized air conditioner.

Not More or Less, But Just Right

You should never buy an air conditioner that’s bigger than you need because you assume it’ll be better at cooling. On the flip side, a smaller AC just won’t cut it. You need to find that sweet spot. Otherwise, a large unit will cool the room too quickly to remove excess humidity, and a small unit will struggle to reach a comfortable temperature.

Matching your home to its proper AC size, however, is tricky. One method for calculating the proper size is to multiply your home’s square footage by 30, then divide by 12,000 and subtract 1.0. The figure you get is the tonnage required. For instance, a 1,500-square foot home would need a 2.5-ton central AC unit. You can also round this figure up to 3 tons. A professional technician can verify this information.  Another, perhaps more common method is using Manual J calculations which take into consideration how many windows your home has, it’s orientation to the sun, plus other factors that impact heating and cooling.

Consider Your Budget

When you figure out how much cooling power your home needs, it’s time to consider how much AC you can afford. The higher the unit’s Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), the lower your operating costs. You may want to invest in a better air conditioning unit to help you save in long-term energy costs.

It’s also important to consider the costs and ease of changing air filters since you will need to replace or clean them every one to three months. Other factors to keep in mind are timers and smartphone-connected AC units, which can make your busy family’s life easier.

Get help finding the right air conditioner size your home needs by contacting a Mingledorff’s distribution center near you. As a leading provider of top-quality HVAC systems and supplies, we carry the AC brands you trust at budget-friendly prices to keep your home cool and comfortable all year long.