Sizing Your AC Units for Optimum Performance

Having a more powerful air conditioner is not always a wise decision. A higher capacity AC is costly and can run up your energy bills during the summer. Worse, it can leave your house feeling clammy.

On the other hand, an undersized and underpowered AC is a problem too; it has to work extra hard to cool and you still end up with relatively higher electric bills.

BTU and Room Sizes

The right size AC not only cools well, it also removes humidity. British Thermal Units, or BTUs, is the measurement used for an AC’s cooling capacity. You may also hear AC size referred to in “tons,” which is equal to 12,000 BTUs. It’s helpful to understand capacity in relation to the space you need to cool. First, find out the area of your home or room. Multiply the entire square footage by 25 BTUs to get the BTU capacity required.

This is a rough estimate, but enough for sizing a room AC. Other factors also affect the size of AC you need for a particular space. For a room with heavy shades, reduce the BTU capacity by 10%; if it is sunny, increase it by 10%. If more than two people stay in the room, add another 600 BTU per each extra person. Kitchens contain a lot of heat, so add 4,000 BTU to your total.

Other Considerations

Space is one of the largest factors in determining the right AC size, but not the only one. Of equal importance are those often overlooked:

  • Your home’s orientation relative to the sun

  • Surrounding trees that can provide shade

  • The number and size of windows and which directions they face

  • Insulation of your walls and air ducts

  • Major changes you plan to make to the house, such as: adding skylights, windows, or another room

All these factors will add to your AC needs.

The Right Size and Service for You

M & M Heating and Air Conditioning Service Co. can assist you in choosing the right size AC system you need. We service Stockton, CA, and the nearby areas. Call us today at (209) 952-6580.