What size air conditioner do I need?

ac unit for your home

Now that summer is in full swing, you might find it’s time to replace your air conditioning unit. When you do, you need to make sure your new HVAC system or A/C is properly sized for your space, so that it keeps you comfortable and uses the right amount of energy.  The question then becomes: What size air conditioner do I need?

If you’re replacing an old air conditioner, start with the size of that unit as a reference. It’s also important to consider the model and efficiency of A/C units you’re looking at purchasing in order to find the one with the proper strength for your space. This guide can help you get started, but you should also contact the heating and cooling professionals at Go Direct Appliance Warehouse for advice.

How do I figure out the proper size air conditioner for my space?

There are a couple of steps you need to take to calculate the proper size of your new air conditioner that will fit your space.

  1. Figure out the square feet of the room. In rectangular or square areas, just measure and multiply the width by the length. In a triangular area, divide the length times the width by two. In abnormal rooms, subdivide the space into rectangles and squares, calculate those areas, and add them all together.
  2. Look up how many BTUs your space needs using the conversion chart. A bigger space will need more BTUs, which stands for “British Thermal Units” and is a measure of the energy your A/C expends to cool a room. For an example BTU measurement, a 3-ton air conditioning system can cool a small house, whereas a 5-ton unit can cool a bigger home.
  3. Make adjustments as needed. Depending on details of your house’s layout or location, you might need to adjust your A/C’s strength.
  • If the area is shady, decrease the cooling capacity by 10%.
  • If it’s in direct sunlight, increase the capacity by 10%.
  • Increase the total BTU measurement by 600 BTUs for every extra person a room will be occupied by regularly, over two people.
  • Increase the capacity by 4,000 BTUs if the air conditioner is in the kitchen.
  1. Check your climate zone for further adjustment. The following factors can all change how powerful of an air conditioner you’ll need.
  • In the southeastern U.S., you’re in a hot-humid climate.
  • The central-eastern region of the U.S. is mixed-humid.
  • The American southwest is in a hot-dry or mixed-dry climate.
  • The northern part of the country is in a cold or very cold climate.
  • In the Pacific Northwest, your climate is marine, meaning the weather is consistent but wet.
  1. Ask a professional. If this list seems complicated, it’s because it is! A professional HVAC contractor and installer will know best how to size your cooling system for your space. They can also give you an estimate and explain how much it’ll cost to install the system after you buy it from Go Direct.

Why does the size of the air conditioning unit matter?

An AC unit of the wrong size can improperly cool your house, provide a breeding ground for mold and mildew, or cost you extra in your energy bill. It’s vitally important you properly size your air conditioner for the size of your home, especially if you’re looking at a Cooling Split System from Go Direct Appliance.

When you’re ready to take the plunge to a cooler summer, contact the friendly salespeople at Go Direct Appliance. Why choose Go Direct Appliance? We have plenty of Goodman, Direct Comfort, and other brands of air conditioners that work well and last for years. And with our 10 year warranty and free shipping, there’s no reason not to buy with Go Direct! If you have any questions, give us a call or contact us online!