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[How-To] Determine The Perfect AC Unit Size For Your Property

Purchasing the right size air conditioning unit for your rental property is extremely important. There’s a “goldilocks” sized A/C unit on the market for your property that will work the most efficiently and save you the most money, but you have to know how to find it. If your A/C unit is too large, it will rapidly cool your home and then shut itself off, only to turn on again as your home heats up. A too-small unit will spend all day cycling, trying to catch up to where it should be. Both options expend much more energy than necessary.

But, what does “size” mean?

A/C units are measured in tons. This measurement tells you how many tons of ice your unit could melt in a 24-hour period. You may also see A/C units measured in British Thermal Units or Btu. A Btu is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree. a one-ton air conditioner cools at a rate of 12,000 Btu an hour. So, a three-ton unit would be rated 36,000 Btu/hour, and would be able to melt three tons of ice in a day.

A/C unit sizes increase by half-tons and, for homes, generally range between 1.5 and 5 tons. Units above 5 tons are generally reserved for commercial purposes. If your home requires a unit of 5 tons or more, you’ll have to install multiple, smaller units to work in tandem.

How do I decide what I need?

Finding the correct size A/C unit for your property depends on many factors: The number of rooms, the area of walls exposed to the sun, the number of windows and their condition, the age of the property and the property’s insulation. For this reason, it can be hard to know which size is correct.

You can calculate approximately what size A/C unit your rental property needs with an equation, but you won’t be able to take in to account the climate around your home, or any of the conditions listed above.

For an average 2,000 square foot property, the equation would look like the following:

  • 2,000 x 30 = 60,000
  • 60,000 / 12,000 (Btu/hr) = 5 tons
  • 5 tons – 1 ton = 4 tons

The property would require an A/C unit of about 4 tons. Again, this number does not account for the climate in your area. If you live in a hot or humid climate, your property will need a larger unit. Those with property in hot climates may wish to forgo the final step in the equation, leaving them with an A/C unit of about 5 tons. If you’re only trying to find a ballpark number, this equation is your best bet.

If you’re looking for an exact number tailored to your specific property, you’ll want to contact a professional. Go Direct Appliance has the knowledge needed to work with your unique property so give us a call at (229) 316-1266. We can properly take in to account all the factors listed above to tell you exactly what size A/C unit will work for you.

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