“Sizing” an air conditioning system? You may not have heard the term before and find it a bit odd. You’re not going to wear the air conditioner. Is that about making sure an air conditioning system fits in the space it’s supposed to go?
What sizing means with air conditioning installation is finding out how powerful a unit is needed to provide the required level of comfort for a home without wasting energy. It’s a vital step in AC installation, and one you don’t want to get wrong. That’s why we recommend only having professionals take care of your next air conditioning installation in West Chester, PA.
The Size of an Air Conditioner Is Its Cooling Capacity
The cooling capacity of an air conditioning system is listed as tons. This isn’t the weight of the AC, but the amount of heat it can remove from a space in an hour. One ton is equal to 12,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units), and the reason it’s called tons is because it’s the amount of heat necessary to melt one ton of ice. Residential air conditioning systems range from 1 to 5 tons.
Both Undersized and Oversized ACs Are Problems
This is where you might think, “Well, I know I don’t want an air conditioner that’s not powerful enough for my house. Why not just go for the most powerful one I can afford? I can always just turn it down lower if it gets too cold.” This type of thinking is why amateur installers often end up in trouble with an air conditioner: an AC must be accurately sized so it’s neither too large nor too small.
It’s obvious why an undersized AC isn’t good: the system won’t be able to keep up with the cooling needs of the house and will run constantly. But what about oversized? The problem there is that the AC will become inefficient: it will lower the indoor temperature so fast that the thermostat will mistakenly register that it’s already reached the end of its cycle and shut it down early. Then it will turn it back on again shortly after, then shut it down, and over and over. This is called short-cycling and it wastes enormous amounts of energy and puts a huge strain on the system.
Professionals Will Size Your New AC Accurately
To size an air conditioning unit requires professionals perform a load calculation that determines how many tons of cooling is necessary for comfort. A proper load calculation factors together various criteria about a home: its size, amount of insulation, the number of people on average in the house, how many windows there are and what direction they face, and the number of heat-generating lights and appliances. When the calculation is complete, the technicians will know the tonnage of the new air conditioner.
Our HVAC technicians are NATE-certified and know how to make an accurate assessment of your home’s cooling requirements. They’ll make sure you end up with the ideal new AC.
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