Finding the perfect balance in size for your HVAC system air conditioner can be a delicate procedure. Here are some steps for taking the deciding factors into account.
Measure the House Carefully
The first thing to do is to measure the square footage of your home. This will give you a starting measurement for your air conditioner's output. Your HVAC technician may multiply the home's square footage by 25 to get the number of BTUs or British Thermal Units; this measurement will tell you how much cool air the system needs to be able to produce.
Only Cool the Most Important Areas
You may want to review the HVAC design with your contractor to eliminate cooling elements to any areas that don't really need to be cool. If you don't often visit an area of your home then you may want to leave it out of the HVAC planning. Window air conditioners can help you save money in these areas if the cool air would simply be wasted most of the time. You may also consider closing these areas off with vents if you wish to include them in your HVAC plan. Whatever you decide to do, it will affect your total BTUs needed and your contractor may subtract a portion of the square footage from the sizing calculations.
Once you have an estimate of the BTUs needed for your system, you can start looking at different air conditioning units at an appliance service center. There are a few things to consider that can make the system run less efficiently than you'd expect. For instance you'll want to look at the efficiency rating of your air conditioner; this can make a machine produce fewer BTUs of cooling power than what's listed on the box. For instance, if your system is rated at 85% efficiency, then you should only count on it producing 85% of the BTUs listed at any given time. The machine's efficiency can vary based on the condition it's in and the smoothness of the machine's process in converting cooling fluid into cool air.
When in Doubt, Go One Size Up
Finally, one last tip: if you are having trouble choosing an air conditioner size for your home, choose something that's a size up from your calculations when in doubt. You wouldn't want to be stuck with a machine that isn't producing enough cooling power to make your home comfortable.
For more information, contact an appliance service, like Ron Hammes Refrigeration.