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How to Determine the Right Size Air Conditioner for Your Home

Choosing the right size air conditioner for your home is vital if you want your home to be cooled efficiently and effectively. When choosing air conditioners, size is one of the most important factors involved in the decision making process. If don't purchase the right size, you could end up with your AC unit over working itself, not cooling your home properly, or dramatically increasing your energy bills.

AC units that are too big will use much more power than needed to cool your home. Not only will an AC unit that is too big cause your power bills to surge, but it will also cause high levels of excess humidity in your home and inside of your AC. Once mold starts to grow, it can be costly and difficult to remove. 

If your air conditioner is too small, on the other hand, it will not cool your home properly, leaving you and your family facing uncomfortable temperatures. Not only will it not cool your home properly, but it will burn itself out attempting to do so. It will also cause your energy bills to skyrocket due to over working itself 24 hours a day in a feeble attempt to keep the home cooled at the desired temperature. The unit may be perfect for a smaller home, but in a larger home, all it will do is burn your electricity in a failed attempt at cooling your home.

To determine the proper size AC unit for your home, you will need to figure out the square footage of your home, if using central air, or the square footage of the room you want to air condition if using a window mounted unit. Do not include areas such as your attic or basement, as these areas will not be cooled by your unit unless you have a finished basement and desire AC cooling down there. Then, compare the square footage with the cooling capacity listed for the unit, which is listed as BTUs or British Thermal Units.

  • 100 up to 300 sq. feet: 5,000 to 7,000 BTU
  • 300 up to 550 sq. feet: 8,000 to 12,000 BTU
  • 550 up to 1,000 sq. feet: 14,000 to 18,000 BTU
  • 1,000 up to 1,200 sq. feet: 21,000 to 24,000 BTU
  • 1,500 up to 2,000 sq. feet: 30,000 BTU
  • 2,000 up to 2,500 sq. feet: 34,000 BTU

Other pro tips:

  • If more than 2 people occupy the room, add 600 BTU per person.
  • When calculating the square footage needed, exclude areas such as attics, crawl spaces, closets, and any other area that is not to be cooled.
  • If cooling the kitchen add 4,000 BTUs to the needed capacity.
  • If your home is shaded, then reduce the BTUs needed by 10%.

At A Quality HVAC Services LLC, we can help you to determine the best size AC unit for your home. If you're shopping for a new AC unit, contact us today!