A line of air conditioner units by houses

How Big of an Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Choosing the right size for your air conditioning unit can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your home cool. We’re breaking down the info that you need so you can make the right choice.

As summer starts to roll in and temperatures are rising, choosing the right-sized air conditioner will be crucial to ensuring that your home is staying cool. Now when we say the size of the unit, we aren’t necessarily talking about the size of the unit but rather the amount of space it can cover. This amount of space is known as a unit’s cooling capacity and is measured in British Thermal Units, BTUs. No matter the type of unit you’re choosing, keeping efficiency in mind is one of the most important factors as it will help lower your overall costs to run the unit.

Determining the Size of Your Space

Before choosing an air conditioner, you’ll need to determine your BTUs. To do this, you will need to do a Manual J heat load calculation. This calculation takes several factors into consideration, including:

  • The way your home faces
  • Window size
  • If windows are energy efficient
  • The insulation in your attic
  • Building materials used for the walls
  • Temperature your thermostat will be set at

After collecting this information, as well as other data, it will be added to a rubric that calculates exactly what size is needed for an air conditioner. Once you know your BTU number, you can choose an air conditioner that will efficiently cool your space. When choosing an ac unit, you will want to make sure that you choose one that meets this minimum BTU number. While you can use a smaller unit below your calculated amount, it will cost more in the long run as the unit will have to work more to cool your home.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

While it may seem like a bigger unit would cool your home faster, an oversized unit will actually cause it to short cycle. This means that your air conditioner will turn on and off more often, using more energy and straining the compressor which will shorten the life of your HVAC system.

There is another downside to choosing a unit that is too big. Another function of an efficient air conditioner is that it will remove the moisture from the air in your space. If you have a unit that is too large for your room, the unit will not run long enough to pull the humidity out of your home. So while your home would be a nice cool temperature, it would also be a little muggy and humid because the unit won’t effectively pull out the moisture.

Whether you’re investing in a new air conditioner or looking to repair your current ac unit, sometimes a professional touch can make all the difference. At Mason Pro Services, our team of experts has all the knowledge and expertise to solve your plumbing, electric, and HVAC problems. Our technicians will help you determine the right size unit for your home and then handle the installation, so you know that it will be done right. Contact us today to ensure that your home is ready for the coming Arizona summer.