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Can I Size My Own Air Conditioning System for Installation?


Sizing an air conditioner means finding how powerful an AC is necessary to provide the specific amount of comfort for an interior space. If you are looking for a new central air conditioner for your house, you need to have the system sized so it provides your household with the comfort level it needs during even the hottest weather. Sizing is about more than ensuring a new AC system is powerful enough; it also ensures the system isn’t too powerful. A properly sized air conditioner falls between the extremes of oversized and undersized.

How is sizing done, and is it something you can handle on your own before?

Simple Answer: You Want Professionals to Size the AC

You can go online and search for tips on how to size an air conditioner yourself. You can find DIY instructions on almost anything online, including how to take care of a pet raccoon. That doesn’t mean you should actually do these things—like attempt to care for a wild animal or size your own air conditioner. Although it’s possible you may end up accurately sizing a new air conditioner, it’s a risk, and the consequences of getting it wrong are expensive.

What Goes Wrong When You Make a Mistake Sizing Your AC

Many different problems will occur with an incorrectly sized air conditioner, but it all comes down to one major issue: the air conditioner will need to be replaced and you’ll have to start all over again. That’s an expensive mistake.

We’ll break it down depending on which mistake you make:

  • You undersized the AC: An air conditioner that cannot provide enough cooling for a home means a home that doesn’t get cool enough. This is straightforward. It also means the AC will have to run almost continually as it tries to cool the house and wastes enormous amounts of money. Humidity will also become a serious problem; poor AC capacity allows humidity to get out of control.
  • You oversized the AC: “What’s wrong with erring on the side of too much cooling?” Plenty, as you’ll find out. If the AC is too powerful, it will shut off early and fail to evenly cool the house. It will then get caught in short-cycling, where the AC turns on and off repeatedly, which wastes power and causes the system to age rapidly so it will wear out years too early.

The Load Calculation

Sizing an air conditioner requires doing a load calculation, which takes various factors about a house and plugs them into a formula that returns the cooling necessary (in tons, with one ton equal to 12,000 BTUs of heat removed) for the space. You can find “homebrew” load calculations, but these won’t give you an accurate result. It takes experts to handle all the necessary criteria for a correct load calculation.

You Need Professionals, No Matter What

You cannot install an air conditioner as a DIY project, so why not get the professionals involved from the start? There’s no reason to try to size your AC on your own when you’ll have to call HVAC professionals for the installation eventually. So for your air conditioning services in Tampa, FL, get started with our experts! We’ll do it right from start to finish.

The A/C Guy of Tampa Bay Inc. serves our Tampa Bay Family with Integrity and Honor. Schedule new AC installation or other HVAC services with us.

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