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The A/C Guy of Tampa Bay Inc. Blog

What Size Should Your Air Conditioner Be?

high-efficiency-ac-unitAir conditioners in our area get quite a workout, so finding the right system for your home is extremely important. You want one that will keep you as cool as possible using as little energy as possible and that will last for a long time. Does that mean you should simply get the biggest system you can afford and hope for the best? Not quite…

In fact, an air conditioner that is too big for your home can run into a lot of problems, just like one that is too small. How do you know what size your air conditioner should be? Our experts are here to help, but consult a local technician in your area for more information.

Not Too Small

When you want to save money on air conditioning installation, you might go for a smaller system with a similarly sized price tag. However, that won’t help you to save money in the long run. You might quickly notice how high your bills are each month, and this can exceed what you saved on installation.

When it is too small, the air conditioner has to work overtime to attempt to keep the space cool, even though it’s not equipped to. This can lead to the system breaking down sooner than it should—many years earlier in some cases—which is why a small air conditioning system is not worth it.

Not Too Big

You want to be sure your system will work when you need it, so you go for the largest installation you can afford. However, this won’t likely be a successful strategy either. Unless you have a very large home, it will likely be too large for the space. This means that the system can short-cycle, starting up and shutting down too often, which also takes a toll on the components.

But Just Right

Don’t waste money on a system bigger than you need or one that’s smaller than the space in your home requires. You want an air conditioner that is just right, and there’s only one size that is the correct fit for your home. And how do you know what that is? You’ll have to call in local technicians!

How Sizing Works

AC sizing does not necessarily refer to the physical measurements of the equipment itself. Rather, sizing is measured in BTUs (British thermal units), but simplified in this country as tonnage. One ton is not the actual weight of an air conditioner, but rather its ability to cool 12,000 BTUs per hour. So if you need a 2-ton air conditioner, your home requires 24,000 BTUs of cooling per hour.

How Technicians Find the Right Size System

Technicians do not typically base AC sizing only on the measurements of your home. There are many other factors that can contribute to the tonnage you need. Any of these factors could potentially contribute to raising your tonnage needs by half a ton or more, which is why it’s so important to call in technicians for sizing rather than using an online guide to try to figure it out for yourself.

  • Shade around the home
  • How much insulation your house has
  • Size and placement of windows
  • Number of people and rooms

For proper air conditioning installation in Tampa, FL, contact The A/C Guy of Tampa Bay Inc.

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